Black Cat Appreciation: Meet Obie

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Obie and his humans for letting me interview him. Hopefully this made him feel better as he tried to submit his photo to be published in Catster, but unfortunately did not make the cut. If you want to follow him & his siblings, they have a facebook page called: The Candy-Corn Kittens.  Pictures were used with permission. 
 Obie 3
“May I ask how old you are sir?”
 I was born in 2008, so that makes me 7 years old! I was adopted from a great no-kill rescue called Salem Friends of Felines in Salem, Oregon. I was one of four black kittens rescued, along with our kitty mommy, from behind a pizza restaurant in Salem. All four of us kittens had upper respiratory problems, and we kept making each other sick; whenever one of us would get healthy we would catch it again!
“How did you come to live with your forever family?”
Our humans had lost four cats between January 2007 and May 2008; Tabby was 20, Misty Kitty was 18, Lucky was 17 and Christmas Kitty was 11 (he had cancer.) They had adopted a Lynx-Point Siamese from Salem Friends of Felines in February 2008; her name is Meeshka. And in May they adopted me. When my daddy was a child his neighbors had a black cat named Bulungus, and he always said he was going to have a black cat someday and name it Bulungus. My full name is Obsidian Bulungus; they call me Obie for short.
“How many fursiblings do you have?”
I have seven feline siblings! Meeshka, Mackenzie, Reggie, Phoebe, Zen, Whiskey Pete and Tigger. Mackenzie is the oldest; he’s about fourteen. Reggie and Phoebe are orange and white cats also known as The Candy-Corn Kittens, and they have their own Facebook page. (But all of us appear on the page; they’re very good at sharing!) 
Obie 1
“You are quite handsome sir; would you like to share your grooming techniques?”
Thank you! I pride myself on my handsomeness! And do you know what’s really cool about my fur? At the base, it’s gray! I’m what is known as a Smoke Tabby; if you brush me backwards my fur looks gray. As far as grooming techniques go, I’m a pretty basic fellow; I just use the good old-fashioned tongue. Several of my siblings also help with my grooming, so I manage to stay handsome!
“What do you like to do for fun?”
 I am a pretty active cat! I am an indoor-only cat, as are all my fursiblings, but we have a lot of toys, as well as a big cat castle we can climb and benches at all the windows so we can see outside. My favorite toys are the plastic springs; I whap them all over the house, and I never know which way they are going to bounce! It’s fun! 
“What would you like to say to all the other black cats out there?”
 Being a black cat, I know how difficult it can be to get adopted, and I know all the silly superstitions surrounding us. All I can say is to never give up! There are humans who love us just the way we are, and they are working hard to spread the word that black cats are just the same as all other cats! The only difference between us and other cats is pigment. We give love like other cats, and we deserve love like other cats. So hold your heads up and be brave; the time is coming when we will be appreciated like we deserve!
“Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or your family?”
 I have a great family. My humans spoil me and my fursiblings, and they work hard so we can live a carefree life! My older brother Mackenzie has diabetes, and gets insulin twice a day, but he’s doing great! Tigger is the newest member of the family; he showed up at the door in the spring with a bad wound on his shoulder, but now he’s healthy, and he’s a troublemaker! Whiskey Pete recently published a book about us, called “The Cats of Shaftesbury Cottage.” It’s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as an eBook! 
 Obie 2
Thanks for taking the time to interview me! I’m a really happy cat right now!
Obie

Meet City the Kitty

Author’s Note: I discovered City the Kitty on Instagram and found his facebook page.. not only is an outdoor cat turned indoor but he is a spokescat for the anti-declaw movement. Please follow him and spread the word that declawing is inhumane. Please visit him on his facebook page – City the Kitty , read his bio on his page – City the Kitty (Official) 
Many thanks to his mom Lori for letting me bug her with questions and letting me use pictures with permission. =^..^=
 

City takes his interviews very seriously.
How old are you City?
6 yrs old
Was it hard adjusting to the indoor life?
Yes, but my mom takes me out on daily walks. I get to chase grasshoppers and lizards, stalk birds and just enjoy the outdoors.
Since you’re a polydactyl, do you find it easier to grip things?
I don’t even notice my thumbs since it’s how I was born. They sometimes get in the way when I try to reach in things but mostly they come in handy cleaning myself and catching my feather toys.
City keeps a tight grip on his human’s heart and inspires people to rethink declawing cats
I read you like to model, do you have any tips for other cats or humans trying to take great pictures of their cats?
Well, it takes a lot of patience since I know kitties don’t like to sit still for very long unless we are napping. Get in close and use a high shutter speed to stop the action. Light is important so look for your kitty in good light.
City says never loose your sense of wonder.. or need for mischief
How long did it take for your to adjust to being on a leash when you go outside?
It took me about a day. I realized that when the leash came out, it meant I got to go out. So I embraced it and started my new adventure.
What is the best position to drink from the sink?
The best is when my mom cups her hands, lets the water from the faucet fall into them and then I drink away. She says I’m spoiled. Sometimes if she’s in a hurry she turns the faucet on low and I tilt my head to the side and drink. I also have 3  bowls of water in the house in case I want to drink from those too. Drinking water is very important for a cat especially one like me who is so very active.
Are you able to balance just as well as cats with long tails?
I think I can balance better since my thumbs make up for my tail.
City wants to know if a cat without thumbs look so dramatic?
When did you get involved with the Paw Project and helping spread the word that declawing is cruel?
It started a little less than a year ago when I started hearing about the Paw Project on social media and also from some of my followers like Cassandra.
What suggestions to you have in lieu of declawing?
Lots of different kinds of scratchers and trimming a cat’s nails are the best things. Cat owners can simply take the time to train their kittens and cats to use the scratchers. There are many other options as well, such as clear, sticky strips to apply to the furniture, and other deterrents, as well as a multitude of climbing trees, mats, and other distractions that will protect your possessions. Adequate exercise, especially interactive play sessions, will also help channel the cat’s energy. For aggressive scratching, conscientious nail-trimming or soft vinyl caps for the claws, soft paws, are a good beginning.
City says Love your cat’s claws.. all of them..
What types of complications can cats have due to declawing?
Many cats who have been declawed stop using their litter boxes because of the pain and tend to bite more often because they have lost their primary defense. Pain is a huge factor both short and long term. Many cats are relinquished to shelters because of these issues.
Declawing is considered one of the most painful, routinely-performed surgeries in all of veterinary medicine and yet 30% or more of veterinarians don’t provide any pain medication whatsoever to their declaw patients. Another study showed that declawed cats were still in pain from the surgery at the end of the study, which was 12 days after the operation! Declawed cats can have joint pain, arthritis, lameness, abscesses, and paw pad atrophy which can occur after surgery. In some cases where the veterinarian left part of the bone in the toe, the claw can begin to grow again. However, the claw grows abnormally under the skin and might eventually bust through the skin on top of the paw. In one report that studied cats for only five months after surgery, about 25% of cats developed complications from both declaw and tenectomy surgeries.
 Is there anything your or your girl would like to share? Education is the key in ending declawing. What I’ve found is that many cat owners who declawed their kitties didn’t know that it involved amputating the cat’s toe bones along with the claws. Their veterinarians didn’t tell them how bad it was for the cat. My cause is to help the Paw Project to end declawing in North America like it is in 28 other countries. Anyone interested in joining this important cause, can go to the PawProject.org website and follow me and the Paw Project on our social media sites. It’s such an important part of feline history, so join us and be a part of it! 🙂
City invites everyone to help join the fight to stop declawing

Meet Sneakers the 3 legged Cat

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Sneakers for letting me do the interview. Pictures were used with permission. Please follow him on his Facebook page – Sneakers the 3 Legged Cat 

Just me
 
Where did your name come from?
My name was given to me by my human dad because he thought my colors made me look like a shoe worn back in the ’50’s. My brother lucked out by being named by mom.
How old are you?
I am four and a half years old. We celebrate my birthday on September 1st.
How did you find your forever home?
I was at a shelter when mom came in and saw Jasper and I in the same cage and she decided to get not just one of us but both.
Me & Jasper
Do you and Jasper sleep near each other or do you prefer sleeping alone?
My brother and I sleep together the majority of the time though he does love to stay by mom’s side when he can and I do love the heater vent on the floor. But you will find us huddled together on a blanket or in a chair quite often.
How long did it take you to learn to walk on 3 legs?
It surprisingly didn’t take long at all. I was up and about right away. Didn’t slow me down at all.
Are you still able to jump or do you prefer to be lifted?
I do jump still but I do look for easier ways to get up on higher objects. I don’t jump nearly as high as my brother when we play.
Have you caught the red dot yet?
Hah, the elusive red dot. Still evades me. One day though..I will catch that dot.
Is there anything you, your brother or mom would like to say?
From my brother and I, good luck to those still waiting on a forever home. Hope you find one as loving as mine.
Sneakers the Three Legged Cat

5 Things to Consider before getting a pet

I wanted to try to put a list together of the things that people should consider before committing to a pet. This covers canines/felines/birds/fish & pocket pets (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, etc).

I broke it down to  6 catergories:  Type, Bug, Room, Funds, Time & Commitment

Type: First and foremost think of the type of pet you want… canine, feline, bird, fish, guinea pig, hamster, mouse, rat, sugar glider, rabbit, ferret, gerbil, lizard, snake, spider, etc. There are many different breeds/species of the above listed pets so you may want to do some research on that.

boo
Boo our resident white cat was adopted and flown from OH to FL

Bug: Bug the heck out of  friends and family – they are going to be the most honest with you about the pros and cons of being a pet parent.  Ask about the amount of time they spend with him/her – grooming, feeding, exercise, vet care, training, etc. Obviously some pets don’t need training, but if they do ask how long it took.

Room: Make sure to consider if you have enough room for them, such that kitten/puppy is cute now, but will they have enough room when they get bigger? There are of course pets that don’t get bigger such as guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits & ferrets will you have a big enough cage for them to be able to get around? What about taking them outside in a run?  If you rent, what is the pet policy? A lot of apartment complexs/houses have management companies that have restrictions on the type of pet, limit to how many, require pet rent and/or a deposit.

Funds: Next is funds, do you have the money to buy their supplies such as the initial set up for a cage for a small pet, food/water dishes, toys, collar/leash, etc? What about getting food on a regular basis? Training (if needed)?

trixie
Trixie has a severe allergy to fleas she had hot spots that took months to heal

Time: Time do you honestly have the time to commit to a pet? Are you often working long hours? Going on trips? Or are you a homebody?

Commitment: The final thing to consider is are you able to make the commitment to a pet. If your living situation changed are you honestly going to take them with you? Because having a pet is like having a child, you’re their protection, provider of food/shelter & love.

trixbug
Trixie with all her hair grown back and Buggy who is still wary of her. Buggy was adopted a year after Bubby from the human society

A few other things worth mentioning:

Please, please adopt. There are many shelters that are overflowing with pets.. so if you adopt one you are making a difference for that pet.

Black cats are least likely to be adopted because of superstition, they are really wonderful cats so if you are looking please consider taking a black cat.

bubby
Bubby the eldest at 8, solid black was adopted from the Humane Society

Consider taking a blind, deaf, three legged, FIV+, or otherwise “different” pet. They may seem like extra work (and sometimes they are) but they have so much love to give.

Elderly pets need homes too!

And that’s it! Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂

bitty
Miss Bitty, adopted from the humane society had an auto immune disease and passed away before she turned 4.

Thanks!

 

Meet Cassie Graus

Author’s Note: I had the pleasure of interviewing Cassie Graus, the wonderful talent behind KittyCassandra’s Cat Paintings.  Thank you so much for letting me ask questions and feature your work.
Her websites are as follows:

 
First may I ask when did you start drawing? Was that before or after you had your first cat?
I started drawing as a kid; drawing at friends’ houses was my favorite activity. Even in school I would just draw in my notes to make someone else laugh. I struggle(d) with depression, so it’s really like therapy for me. Art and comedy were the two main ways I could make people happy and connect with them — I’m a people-pleaser but I’m very shy, so art or music was my in. My drawings were usually of animals or whatever class was about that day. I think my mom got the idea to adopt our first cat when I was in third grade because I drew them so much and make books about them when I was really young.
What was it like to be featured on Animal Planets Cats 101?
It was a huge honor that I absolutely lucked out in getting. The production company found me through my Etsy shop. They must have searched for “exotic shorthair” since I made sure to tag my art with that search term. They sent me a message asking if wanted to be featured in a human interest story relating to that breed of cat. So don’t be afraid to put whatever it is you do “out there,” even if you think it’s silly — like my grandfather always told me, “someone’s always watching.”
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by things that make me happy because I want to make other people happy with my art… my cats… cute things… junk food… pretty colors… (I’m not breaking any intellectual ground here). Also just trying to be original inspires me, trying to paint something no one’s ever painted about before, or in the way that I would paint it. When my convention booth catches someone’s eye and they grabs their friend’s arm, and they walk toward my table, and to make joy happen in someone else, that’s the biggest rush for me.
California Cat
How long does it take a finish a piece?
It takes about 8 hours on average from sketch to finished digital piece, longer if it’s using traditional media (my go-to material is acrylic on canvas), and even more time if it’s a larger piece. My longest pieces are my 36″x48″ HUGE paintings (“Junk Food” and “Picnic at the Park” are two of them), which take me maybe 40 hours over several weekends.
May I ask what you are working on now?
I’m taking a little break from commissions right now — I am working on a series of personal pieces featuring humans being rescued by a squad of tiny kittens, mainly to show more versatility in my portfolio since my dream is to get into professional illustration. I am also excited about developing two graphic novels (one cat-centric and one human-centric), but those require such an up-front investment of planning time that it’s so much more tempting to spend my weekends and evenings on quicker pieces that I can share with everyone immediately after finishing, since it’s not so much about painstaking technique as it is about a joke in the piece. I like when I can make my art like a comic, but without words.
How many cats do you have?
My husband and I have 3 cats. We got them immediately when we got our first apartment after I graduated college, which was the first time we were allowed to have cats where we were living.
Why are you against declawing?
I am against declawing because it is cruel, plain and simple.
8x10" print - Percival's Rare Vase Shop
Percival’s Rare Vase Shop
What alternatives would you suggestion to people who want to declaw their cats?
I would suggest getting into a routine of clipping their claws every 3-4 weeks or so. I like the scissor kind rather than the guillotine kind for greater precision. Choose a time that you know your cat is calm and sleepy. There are also little temporary plastic claw caps to prevent scratching. If you are really having a tough time with it, you can typically bring them to your vet’s office for a trim at not too high of a cost.

Meet Samson the Blind Cat & Company

Author’s Note: This has been revised as the pictures and editing did not show up when it was published. My apologizes.
Many thanks to Samson’s mom for letting me interview her about the furry family. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit the facebook page – Samson the Blind GA cat to follow their story.

How many pets do you have that need extra care?
We have four are blind or partially sighted, one is deaf, one has FIP.  Gracie, a little long-haired tabby, is about ten months now, and was thrown from a car as a kitten.  I found her in the street, injured, with a concussion, and unable to walk.  As a result, one leg is paralyzed.  But she gets around very well.  She can outrun me!
 samson
How many of them are blind?
Sammy, Cricket, and Bones are totally blind.  Stevie has a little sight in his one remaining eye.  He sees as we would if we were looking through a small circle.  He has to move his head to align his field of vision.
May I ask if they were born blind or lost their eyesight due to infections/disease?
All are rescues as adults so we really don’t know the causes.  All the blind ones came from high kill shelters.  Two are black and blind, pretty much a guarantee of euthanasia in a shelter.  Black cats are the last to be adopted.  Black and blind cats stand almost no chance at all.
We had a lovely Siamese named Li who was adopted as an elderly fellow.  He had gone blind from untreated glaucoma, as did another blind senior girl named Abigail.  Li passed away last year, and Abigail about three years ago.  With the others, we really don’t know the causes, except for Stevie.  He was born with Microphthalmia, meaning his eyes were underdeveloped.  One eye was completely blind.  His lashes turned inward and irritated it so badly that we had that eye removed.  It wasn’t even attached to the optic nerve.  He’s much more comfy now.
Samson (Sammy) was born without eyes.  He was caught as a kitten in a feral cat trap in the mountains.  His rear leg had been broken at some point and healed a bit crooked.  At first he was terrified of being off the ground, so we figure he broke it in a fall.  Now he’s probably the bravest of the blind cats and loves to climb and explore.
Do they have full reign of the house or do they stay in one section/room?
They’re allowed all over the house, except in the formal living and dining rooms.  We have a screened porch in the basement with a cat door, and they all love being out there in pretty weather.  The blind ones navigate the stairs with no issues.  Only Cricket, who is the shyest, doesn’t go downstairs.  She can, but she chooses not to.
How long does it take for them to adjust to their new environment, or does it vary with each cat?
When bringing in a blind cat, we start them out in just one room.  For how long depends upon the cat’s personality.  When they seem comfortable and curious about what lies beyond the door, we will let them have access to another room.  It just increases from there as they seem ready.
We have found that cats born blind are pretty much normal cats.  When they go blind, as from glaucoma, it is more of an adjustment.  Those born blind know no other way to be and think nothing of it.  Those that go blind are usually more cautious and take longer to adapt.  Our Earl Grey was born blind and LOVED exploring.  We nicknamed him Houdini.  If there was a way to get outside, he would find it.  Earl knew no fear.  Sadly we lost him from a probable aneurism a couple of years ago.
Can you tell me a bit about the other cats?
Shamrock is a lovely white Maine Coon with stunning green eyes who is totally deaf.  He startles easily, so we’re always careful to let him know we are there by flicking the lights or waving at him.  If he’s asleep, I’ll hold my hand by his nose.  He’ll eventually pick up my scent and wake up without being startled.  I didn’t know he was deaf when we brought him home.  I figured out when he didn’t run from the vacuum that something was up.  Like the blind ones, he can never go outside, but Shammy loves the porch and lying in the sunshine.  He does understand hand gestures.  If I want him to come, since I can’t call him, I gesture for him to come to me.  He usually does.  He is difficult to treat medically – give pills or meds – as you can’t talk to him to soothe him or calm him down.  Blind cats are pretty easy to treat since they can’t see what’s coming!  🙂  Shamrock loves traveling and often accompanies us on vacation.
Shamrock – white with green eyes – Maine Coon – Deaf
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Cricket – Orange and white – Blind
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Grace – Young tabby – paralyzed leg  after being thrown from car
10612935_10152430343317701_1237577502147312469_n
Sammy – black with no eyes
1979761_10152144441002701_1303611588_n
Stevie – grey tabby with one “bluish” eye
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Bones – Black standing on couch – blind
 Bones (1)
The blind cats really need nothing special.  We provide toys that make noise – bell balls or crinkle balls, and they love furry mice.  The laser pointer does nothing for them.  If I move something in the house, they figure it out.  People often ask if they can find their food or litter box.  Not a problem!  They climb, play, and run just like all cats.  Cricket is the shyest of the blind ones.  She is more cautious about climbing steps or jumping down from a bed.
Can you explain a bit about FeLV, FIP & FIV?
We’ve had many FeLV cats over the years.  That is Feline Leukemia.  There’s a good article here with details: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-leukemia-virus
We’ve had FeLV cats live from 8-10 years but others not even make it a full year.  We’ve lost a few immediately after neutering.  Surgery can cause the FeLV to ‘kick in’ and they crash quickly.  FeLV cats CAN live good, happy lives.  Too many vets recommend euthanizing them immediately.  There are precautions you can take to help them.  Our Bo lived 8 good years, and Nala made if over 10 years.  It’s not necessarily a death sentence.  Avoiding stress, a healthy diet, and giving L-Lysine to boost the immune system are all good things for an FeLV kitty.  A positive result could mean the cat is a carrier only and won’t show symptoms.  One of our vets had an FeLv+ kitty who lived 17 years.
Our Biscuit is positive for FIV.  That is Feline Aids (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)  https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feline-immunodeficiency-virus-fiv
Again, not a death sentence.  Positive can also mean he is a carrier and may never show symptoms.  This disease weakens the immune system, so like with FeLV, avoiding stress, a good diet, and supplements help keep them strong.  If another cat is sneezing or sick, I isolate Biscuit from that cat.  He was a Tom living on the streets, but he’s loving life as a pampered indoor boy.  So far, he shows no signs of the disease at all.
FIP is the one I most dread and hate.  There are two forms – dry and wet.  We’ve dealt with both over the years.  While there are some experimental treatments, they are extremely expensive.  There isn’t a diagnostic test for FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) so by the time the cat shows symptoms, the disease is usually in the latter stages.  Sadly it often claims kittens.  Our Luna lived with dry FIP for about five months longer than expected, maybe because we tried the expensive treatment with her.  She hated taking the oral liquid meds, though, and fought so hard against them that we opted to discontinue, plus the cost – hundreds of dollars a month – was too high for us to continue longer.  I hope one day they find a way to diagnose and treat this horrid disease.

What has been the hardest thing about having cats that need extra love & attention?
Nothing hard about it at all!  We love each one so much and are blessed to have them in our family.  The vet bills can mount up with one of the diseases, but there aren’t any drawbacks to having blind and deaf kitties.
What has been the most rewarding thing about the experience?
Just knowing that these cats who would have been euthanized as ‘unacceptable’ now have a happy and loving home.  Rescue kitties know you saved them.  All the rescued blind cats are very attached to us and like nothing more than being close by.
What would you like to say to people who are hesitant to adopt a cat that may need extra love & attention?
To quote Alana Miller, director of Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary  www.blindcatrescue.com, blind cats are just…cats.  The rewards are so great.  With the ones who have FeLV, FIP, and FIV, you have to go in with your eyes open and know the possible outcome.  But if you believe that these animals deserve a chance for a happy life, regardless of length, it’s easy to open your heart to them.  You may be surprised how hard they fight and how long they will be with you.  I can’t imagine living without a blind cat now.  They amaze us daily with all they can do.  For anyone interested, visit Blind Cat Rescue’s website and read a book called Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline’s Tale or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wondercat.  You’ll never think about blind cats the same again.

Meet Cassandra Cat

Author’s Note: I wanted to thank Miss Donna Drury for her patience and letting me borrow the images of her pictures for the article (they were used with permission). This is a correction of the original article as it posted without edits and pictures.
Please check out her beautiful work on the following pages:

My name is Donna Drury, I have two declawed cats who have health problems. I will let my Cassandra tell her story below. I am an artist and I paint her dreams, she needs beauty in her life after what was cruelly and brutally done to against her will.

My name is Cassandra Cat, I have been front declawed nine years ago. My previous owners dumped me into the woods because I started to bite them. My paws have nerve damage and are always numb. I shake them all the time. I wake up from my naps because I hiss and growl in my sleep. I have nightmares all the time, flashbacks of my declawing. A veterinarian who does not declaw cannot examine my paws unless they medicate me, I may have bone fragments in my paws from a botched declaw. The veterinarian said she did not want to put me through medication, X-rays, possible correction surgery because it would traumatize me further. She used to declaw many years ago and stopped. I take herbal medications daily for my mental instability and pain. I will never forget laying on the operating table while each of my toes were being amputated. I heard the snap, and saw my claws on the table next to me. It was the most horrible experience, I cried and cried and no one heard me. I bite my new owner, she cannot pet me. I am extremely heartbroken humans have done this to me. I cannot knead, climb, hunt, and I never purr. Declawing is a major orthopedic operation, it is amputation of the leg bone.


My new sister, Cameo Cat, is also front declawed. Her owners did not want her anymore because she started to develop skin issues, her immune system was compromised with her declaw. She had an infection for months. Her previous owners could not afford the vet bills, so they brought her back to the shelter. She also has ‘horns’ growing from her paws, they are scurs (growth of deformed claw segments).We are fighting hard to make declawing illegal. The Paw Project is our best friend, they are working very hard to educate people regarding the absolute horrors of declawing. Declawing should never have been legal, never. I, Cassandra Cat, will cut through the red tape that is keeping declawing legal with the same surgical instrument that amputated my leg bones. This is a promise.

Please visit The Paw Project FaceBook page and please use a veterinarian who does not declaw cats. If you have dogs only, still do this. Do you want hands that mutilate healthy cats touching your pets? Pets know, they sense what veterinarians are doing, they know. They only want your money and could care less when your cat develops the following…also, all cats hide their pain very well. If she does not look like she is in pain, she is. Amputations have side effects. If you feel your cat is in pain, you may want to have her paws x-rayed to see if there are bone fragments.

MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS FROM THE PAW PROJECT
Reported medical complications after a declaw can include: pain, hemorrhage, laceration of paw pads, swelling, reluctance to bear weight on affected limb, neuropraxia (transient motor paralysis), radial nerve damage, lameness, infection, abscess, tissue necrosis, wound dehiscence, incomplete healing, protrusion of 2nd (middle toe bone) phalanx, claw regrowth, scurs (growth of deformed claw segments), retention of flexor process of third phalanx, chronic draining tracts, self-mutilation, dermatitis, lethargy, palmigrade stance (walking on wrists), chronic intermittent lameness, chronic pain syndrome, flexor tendon contracture, and cystitis (stress-associated bladder inflammation).
Well, I have an ETSY for prints, and I started to paint when I was a child, I used to paint flat rocks with sea scenes on them, and did a lot of paint by number. I grew up near the sea, and it was very inspiring. I did not paint again until about the time my Cassandra cat arrived, nine years ago. I raised a family before that. My mother made sure I always had paint and rocks, everyone wanted one. We would go to the beach and pick out rocks. I did enjoy painting them. I also sew quilts and make soap and woodwork. I cut my own boards for painting. I give my Cassandra cat a lot of credit for the inspirations for my paintings, she gives me the ideas through intuition. The prints here are all 8″x10″. I need to paint more paintings, and then eventually offer prints and paintings. https://www.etsy.com/shop/UntoldCatDreams?ref=si_shop

My Artist FaceBook page. I have been trying to get more paintings done, but, my main focus is to get the word out to everyone regarding declawing. Veterinarians will not explain what declawing is, they offer coupons also, and they sometimes declaw the wrong cat. I have read many stories of vet techs who quit because they cannot stand to hear the cats screaming for hours when they wake up.

Meet Cowboy

 
How old are you?
I’m approximately 12 years old.
 
 
Where did your name come from?
I was named after the ‘Cowboy Song’ from the band Thin Lizzy. 

How did your mom convince you to move into the house?
My Momma started feeding me multiple times a day on the front porch and she put a nice warm bed on the bench outside the front door, which I refused to use for the first few months. I finally did start to nap in the bed. One day my Momma was going to mow the front yard and she saw me sleeping on the bench and I didn’t wake up when she started the mower and she thought I was dead, she stopped mowing and ran over to me and as soon as she touched my head, I shot off the bench like a rocket and after that she noticed I didn’t couldn’t hear.

Do you venture outside still?
No never, much to my dismay but I do have a very large cattery / kennel that has grass, one tree, furniture, plants and half of it has a large awning and the other half is open to soak up sun. I call it Folsom. Folsom is attached to the back side of my home and there is a dog door fro me and my crew to go in and out. Folsom is completely encased and about 500 sq ft. My canine brother and sisters are allowed into the yard outside of the kennel but not the felines. 
 
How many fursiblings do you live with?
9+  I have a large family. I will start with my canine brothers / sisters. ( all fixed & chipped)
 
Madelynne & Trigger Neo Mastiffs.
Mr. Chan, Buddy & Captain Cutie Paws. Black Labrador, GSP, and Chihuahua.
Felines: Velvet, Simon, Opal and Cubby.
Did it take a while to adjust to having a fur family?
Yes, when my Momma captured me I was taken to the Vet right away and she was told not only was I deaf but I had little to no vision. My brothers and sisters are all really nice, it was me that was a concern. Momma thought I would kill one of them. The entire process took about 3 months, needless to say I spent a lot of time in the sewing room. 
 
Who is your favorite?
Sweet Buddy Boy and Cubby ‘the chubby chase’ is a close 2nd. 
 
You are quite the handsome mancat, is there anyone special in your life?
I’ve been seeing Gwyneth ( you know I’m the reason her and Chris broke up)
Is there anything else you would like to say about yourself?
I’m one super cool cat! I’m a very large feline, on deaths bed I weighed almost 12 pounds. I’m a Rock Star and I love to hang out with my buddies Mick, Jimmy and Tom and enjoy Niptinis.
Is there anything your mom would like to add about you?
Cowboy is an amazing cat and has regained most of his vision. The Vet told me Cowboy is a odd eyed white cat, which explains his lack of hearing. Cowboy also has a cowboy hat just like Brett Michaels, his girlfriends from Kitty Collage had it made special for him. Cowboy was also Mr. August 2014 in the Milo’s Sanctuary calendar out of Burbank California. I convinced Cowboy to come live with me and he was about 8 years old per the Vet and it truly is amazing he survived living out here with all the coyotes and being bright white and deaf. Cowboy is VERY handsome and has excellent demeanor, which is a great combo. Cowboy loves to be vacuumed and sometimes I will have to put him in another room so I can actually vacuum the floors, if he sees the sweeper, he will go lay by it in hopes I will turn it on and vacuum him, seriously loves the vacuum sweeper almost as much as Albacore tuna. Cowboy’s meow is very LOUD, I think thats due to he can’t hear. (Super loud) he’s chatty too, has a lush coat and a cute pink nose.
Cowboy had a sister named Spice Girl and I adopted her from Meow Rescue Out by where I live, you should go take a gander at her page. ( the rescue set it up) and nobody would adopt her, so Cowboy and I did. Spice finished her life with us, living happy and loved. 
I don’t sit around listening to Thin Lizzy : )  When I bought my home, it needed a ton work work in the yard to get a fence line up, so I would work every free minute I had to get the backyard ready, it was warm weather at at the end of my day I would relax and sip a cool one / listen to the radio on my back porch and each night Cowboy would come to eat and then he would head back to the wetland ( I had no idea at this time he was deaf) One evening that Cowboy song came on and Cowboy was headed back out to the wetland and that is how he got his name, I found the song fitting, soI started calling him Cowboy, you should Youtube the song and listen to the words!  Cowboy had walked so much out there, he had a path.
I’ve always been fond of the underdog. I love the biters, ones ridden with anxiety and yes the runners. 3 of my 5 canines were deemed concerns. My felines are all healthy and rescued. I moved into this county pad with 1 cat and 3 dogs. I’m now 5 and 10. I reside in a town where people just leave their animals on the wetland or before my fence line was up, I would come home and find dogs with notes attached tied to my kennel. Seriously. Neighbors who move without their pets etc. I’m a progressive woman in a super redneck town but the beauty has kept me here, I love that I’m 5 minutes away from some of the best NW hiking, river swimming.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Cowboy and his mom for letting me interview him. pictures were used with permission. You can visit him on his facebook page.
 
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love.
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Meet Vinny the Therapy Cat

How old are you?
– I am 3 years old.  My birthday is March 28, 2011
Where did your name come from?
– My breeder registers her litters alphabetically.  The litter I was born in fell on fell on the letter “V”.  So, Mom needed to register me with a “V” name (although my call name could be anything she wants).  Mom decided to name me after the actor Vince Vaughn, and call me Vinny.  My registered name is GP DeKattCo’s Vince Vaughn, but you can call me Vinny.
How did you find your forever home?
– Mom had got my big brother Linus from my breeders about 4 years before I was born.  When Mom was ready for another cat, she called Linus’ breeders again, and they had a special boy for Mom – me!  I was actually supposed to go to Russia to another breeder as a “stud”, but that fell through at the last minute.  I had just became available again when Mom called.  My breeder said she should have kept me, but she already had a young boy in her breeding program and just didn’t need me.  My breeders sent me to Mom instead as a show alter.  I was 5 months old when I moved in with Mom to my forever home.
What was it like being a show cat?
–  Busy.  It’s a lot of traveling, staying in hotel rooms, and being handled by lots of different judges.  Show halls are usually noisy too, with a PA system, and people talking and cats meowing.  Cuts into those afternoon naps…  I live in Wisconsin, and have traveled to cat shows throughout WI, MN, and IL.  The farthest I’ve traveled to a cat show is probably Springfield, IL which was almost a 7 hour drive.  Some people will even fly with their cats all over the country to cats shows, but we never went farther than we could get by car.
How many awards did you win?
– I did very well at the cat shows.  In Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), I was awarded the title of CFA Grand Premier (equal to Grand Champion, but for spays and neuters).  I was also CFA’s 9th Best European Burmese in Premiership Nationally in the 2012-2013 show season.
In the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) I was awarded the title of Quadruple Grand Champion Alter.  ACFA accepted my breed, European Burmese, in the 2011-2012 show season.  I was only the third European Burmese to achieve Grand status in ACFA, and the first of my color (chocolate).  In ACFA for the 2012-2013 show season, I was also awarded Inter-American Best European Burmese Alter, North Central Region 12th Best Alter, and Inter-American 28th Best Alter.
May I ask why you retired?
–  After a while I just didn’t like going to cat shows anymore.  Mom could tell I was not having fun at shows anymore, and promised me I could retire.  I prefer Therapy Cat work, where I’m the center of attention.  Mom said I don’t have to prove anything at the shows anymore.
When did you decide to become a therapy cat?
–  I moved in with Mom when I was 5 months old.  Mom noticed right away I had a pretty calm, mellow, laid back personality.  She soon started thinking I might make a good therapy cat.  Mom took me to PetCo, PetSmart, the vet, and cat shows to help socialize me and expose me to different places and situations.  I officially began my supervised visits and training when I was one year old.  I became registered as a Therapy Cat with Love on a Leash (LOAL) in December of 2012.  To become a registered Therapy Cat with LOAL, I had to be one year old, my vet had to sign a form that I was healthy, up to date on vaccines, and in agreement that I probably had the right personality for Pet Therapy work.  Then I had to do ten, one hour supervised visits.  Since there was not a LOAL chapter in my area, LOAL approved an activities employee at the nursing home to supervise our training visits.
What is your favorite thing about being a therapy cat?
– Brightening people’s day and making them smile.  Last summer we went into an activities room to see a couple people. One lady said she was not interested in seeing me. So, we moved on to a man in the activities room and his wife. As we were finishing our visit with them, the lady wheeled herself over and suddenly wanted to see me, fed me a spoon of baby food, and petted me. Later the activities lady working with us excitedly told us that was the FIRST time that lady had participated or shown interest in ANYTHING since she’d been admitted to the nursing home!
Recently I visited a woman who’d had a stroke. The activities staff who was with us, happily said that was the most she’s ever seen her move her stroke affected arm in her attempts to pet me. She still needed a little help to pet me, but a good example of how helpful Pet Therapy can be. 
I like seeing people’s reactions and smiles when they see Mom bring me in their room in my pet stroller.  Many people would like a visit from a Therapy Cat, but there just are not a lot of Therapy Cats out there.  One lady was very excited to see me, and sadly said she had to surrender her own cat to the humane society when she had to enter the nursing home.  Mom was told I am always the talk of the afternoon when I visit the nursing home.
Do you have any advice for cats would want to be like you?
Purebred, mixed breed, neutered, and intact cats are all welcome to be Therapy Cats – if they meet the criteria.  Therapy cats must have calm, laid back and steady personalities.  They must be able to tolerate unusual sights, sounds, smells, and petting that may be awkward or hard.  They must be able to travel in a car calmly, and without getting car sick.  They must accept wearing a harness and leash.  They must be at least one year of age and up to date on vaccinations.  Most importantly, they must love people and enjoy being petted by people other than the owner. Reactive pets (who react before thinking) will not be good therapy pets. 
If you think you would like to be a Therapy Cat, go to different places for socialization and exposure to different situations.  Pet stores, the vet (even just to say hi and get weighed).  Mom has also heard some stores like Home Depot, Macys, Barnes and Noble, and Old Navy are “pet friendly” but has not verified that herself and it may depend on the individual manager.  Call ahead to be sure!  Cat shows are also great for experience and socialization.  Most cat shows have a Household Pet class which is open to both mixed breed cats and purebreds who do not meet their breed standard.  Check the show schedule on the CFA and ACFA websites and email the entry clerk to find out if there is a Household Pet class.  ACFA website – http://www.acfacat.com/  CFA website – http://www.cfa.org/Client/home.aspx
Also, think about the kind of visits you’d like to do.  For example, a dog or cat with very little exposure and experience with children, might not do well visiting pediatric patients, but might love visiting adults and the elderly.  You can visit Love on a Leash’s website athttp://www.loveonaleash.org/ or Pet Partners’ website at http://www.petpartners.org/ for more information on Pet Therapy and what it takes to become a registered Therapy Cat.
 

 


 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Vinny & his mom for answering the questions and letting me interview him. You can visit him on his facebook page

Pictures used with permission.

Meet Argento the Sphynx

Hi theres!

How old are you?
I am 2 1/2 years old.

Where did your name come from?
My mommy named me after her favoritest horror movie director, Dario Argento.

How did you come to your forever home?
Mommy and daddy always wanted a sphynx kitty. They thought we were such neat cats. They found a breeder 2 hours away, and drove to come and get me!

You have some great clothes, what piece(s) are your favorite?
I love wearing clothes cuz it keeps me all cozy. My favorites outfit is my red hoodie that says “I Bite”. Mol.

Do you wear clothes all the time?
I wear clothes most the times. But at night I just likes to snuggle with my blankies.

Who is your favorite furry sibling?
My favoritest fur family member is my brudder Lou. He is a big fluffy orange kitty, and I loves to cuddle with his soft fur. We likes to chase each other around the house and drive mommy and daddy crazy.

There are a lot of pictures of you sleeping, what is your favorite spot?
Sleeping is my hobby. Mol. I thinks my favoritest place to sleep is under the blankies in bed with mommy and daddy. It’s so toasty! I also like my tall cat tower. It’s next to the window so I can lay in the warm sun shines and watch birdies.

Do you require extra care since you are furless?
Since I’m a nakie kitty, I do needs more care. I have to have a bath once a week and get my ears and nails cleaned out. If I dont, I get really dirty and leave oil marks everywhere. Oops!

What would you or your mom like to tell people about sphynx cats they may not know?

I would likes people to know that us sphynx kitties are very sweet and loyal. We loves cuddling and have such a happy temperament. We may look a little strange to some peoples, but we are great companions. My mommy likes to describe our personalities as a cross between a monkey, a toddler, and a puppy. Mol. She might be right. =^.^=
Purrs and headbutts!
Love Argento


 

Author’s Note: Many thanks to Argento and his mom for answering the questions.Pictures were used with permission.

If you would like to follow his adventures please follow him on Facebook at Argento the Sphynx

This article is apart of the Extra Love Needed Theme.

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