Author’s Note: I want to thank Opossums mom for letting me pepper her with questions about this little girl. She’s such a cutie! According to the about section on her facebook page she was found at a four way intersection starving and terrified. Pictures were used with permission, please visit her official page The Abandoned Opossum.
Where did her name come from?
We called her Opossum because the first time I touched her she played dead. She weighed less than a pound. Someone had dumped her at a local intersection and she had been scavenging for food. My oldest daughter and I persistently followed her until we could pick her up. With her coloring, she kinda resembled a young opossum
How old is she?
She is between 3 and 4 months old by the vet’s estimate, but also small for her age
How many fur siblings does she have?
She lives with a husky service dog in training and a saint Bernard service dog in training. To be honest, both pups adore her. It actually took her longer to adjust to them. I think she had previously been attacked by a dog or dogs. She also lives with Watson who has taken to her.
Was she on a special diet when you first found her?
The vets did suggest small meals multiple times a day instead of leaving out a large supply because she would inhale it like it was going to run away. She was on wet food and regular food.
Is she easily scared of new things?
It depends on the thing. For example, she has embraced the children from the moment she joined the family. The dogs she bullied until she had them dominated. I forgot to mention my tomcat as her sibling. Watson took her under his wing. I have rescued many cats over the years and many kitten litters and Watson embraces newcomers. Halloween, she didn’t bat an eye at costumes or decorations. She loves to be around water, never had a problem with toys, the broom, or anything really bothering her. She is fearless for most things. She is not big on strangers. She personally despises the UPS man.
Why the UPS man?
I don’t know why she distrusted the ups man. I know he’s here because she is in the window growling at him with her ears pinned. When I open the door she runs under the bed immediately, she wants no confrontation.
Do the pups try to play with her?
The pups love to play with her but she is usually not interested. I let Banner play with her to a point before I separate them. Aponi is too big and I’m afraid would hurt her by accident so I don’t let those two play much.
Does she get to go outside often?
Not often, only while being supervised. I had to flea bomb the house the other day and it was her first day out since we brought her home. She enjoyed it but was ready to go back in. She is very clingy, where the other pets are exploring and playing, she was within ten feet of me at all times.
What is her favorite things to do?
Her favorite thing to do would be finding a lap to curl up in. Any of the kids laps, my lap, or my fiance’s lap. We are all reserved seats. She rather curl up and purr than do anything else.
A fleece blanket works too. She has claimed an old Christmas blanket at this time
Does she have any favorite toys?
She has a catnip toy she is extremely fond of. She hides it under the dresser so no one else can play with it.
Does she talk a lot?
She is very talkative. Usually when I am sleeping or am not currently petting her. If I shut the bathroom door she protests. She prefers to bathe with me. She gets in the tub and lays on me.
What’s her favorite food?
She loves baked chicken and she was introduced to a little Turkey breast this week. She enjoyed it tremendously. She always tries to steal whatever we are eating. It was a little difficult to introduce her to actual cat food, but we reached success with Meow Mix
Opossum has an odd fascination with Rick from The Walking Dead. She watches Netflix with me but during that show she actually sits on my laptop and is completely immersed. I have never had a cat like television before.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Piglet for letting interview him. Pictures were used with permission. Please visit Piglet’s Facebook page to follow his story.
How old are you?
On april 28th I will be three years old. I share my birfday wif me Hoosis, Ashleigh, an I’ve been a Smith since I was four months old!
Where did your name come from?
I’m a rescue pup. PAWS Rescue and Rehabilitation was me first home. My tail reminded Ginny of a Piglet’s tail… (personally… I fink it should be because I LUB food so much! BOL!) Dey had a competition an let people who liked their page name some of us pups. I was named Jack… but Hoomum said Jack just didn’t fit… Piglet did! So here I is!
How did you come to live with your hoomum?
Me doggy sissy, Mishka, who is a Staffy X, was ten at da time, an had just had a cancer removed. She went all depressed, so Hoomum, (who neber wants a home wifout a doggy) talked to Hoodad an me siblins, an dey decided to adopt a doggy. Either an older dog, or a pup, an Hoomum has always LUBBED Pitbulls.. They saw PAWS Rescue and Rehabilitation facebutt page, an my photo was there right beside another pup dey liked the look of… but Hoomum said I was too adorabull! So she read up about us pibbles, spoke to vets an trainers… an decided da myths an bad press about our breed was just dat. RUBBISH!!! Because ob bully’s being classed ‘dangerous breeds’ here in New Zealand, she had to get a reference from her vet, police checked an approval fwom her landlord/boss. And she passed! Dats how I gots here… (She had to twavel three hours to pick me up too!) An now we work at twying to change peoples perceptions ob pitbulls an bully breeds.
Were you scared on the ride to your new home?
Nope! I had me sissy Mishka wif me the whole time, and me Hoobro, Josh. Hooman’s make comfy pillows I tell ya!
Did your new sisfur tell you all about where you were going to live and do?
She sure did! Hoomum boughted her to come pick me up. And it was lub at first sight for da us both! There were other doggies an Pups at me foster home, but she just knew I was her baby bruffer! She told me abouts sharin our bed wif do Hoomans and how dey appreciated it on cold nights. About awl da space an paddocks I can run in… she told me abouts cows too… but dey didn’t sound like much fun… but I liked da descripshun of how dere poop smelled! Mmmmm mmm! As for our Hooman’s? Tweats, toys, baffs an LOTS ob lub! I coudn’t wait to get to me new home!
How long did it take to adjust to your new home?
I adjusted to me new home really quickly. I had food aggression issues at me foster home… but not here. Me an sissy ate side by side fwom da verwy beginnin. But da farm was different. I was scared ob awl da noises, da bikes, machinery… an da COWS! Dey were HUGE! Dey lefted me delishous patties though… but it took a while for me to get used to those beasties!! Hoomum walks us ebery day an it took me a couple ob months before I decided I was safe around da machinery… nearly six months before I’d sniff a cow! An does calves?! Widdle, cute… but fast!
How many furry siblings do you have now?
I hab me sissy, Mishka, an eight cat siblins. All rescues an desexed, an most ob dem were dumped on our farms. Lisa, Nae Nae, Nu Nu, Scrawny, Precious, Lennox, Oscar and Tilly. Den we hab Blue! Hims me calf bruffer dat walks wif us around da farm. Him is Hoomums baby too. Hims is going to lib his life wif us and not be eaten!
Are you still scared of the cows?
Nope. I help me sissy push dem to da shed sometimes, an I’m da official Calf Pibble! I help Hoomum feed da calves an look after dem.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Snuggle wif me Hoomans! Especially Hoodad! Hims is soooo comfy! AND I lub runnin wif him on da farm! I LUB racin him on da motorbike! I AWLWAYS wins. Poor Mishka is a widdle slow! BOL.
Can you tell me what makes you – as a red nosed pit – different from other pits?
My nose! BOL! Dat’s awl dat makes me different. I may be a pitbull, but I am a dog first. I am just like awl other dogs, I just wear pitbull fur! And like Hoomans, we awl have different personalities an strengths. That is what makes us… US. We are individuals 🙂
What would you or your hoomum like to say about pitties?
Hang on a sec… “HOOMUM!!!! YOUR TURN!”
Hey, it’s Piglets Hoomum here. Belinda. What I’d like to say about pitbulls is this. They are awesome dogs and don’t deserve the bad press they get. Like all dogs, EXERCISE them, train them, love them and socialize them, and you will have a happy, human and animal friendly dog. Piglet is my best friend. He and Mishka are never alone, never left outside, and always with one of us. He is a pleasure to have around and when he’s with my husband… it’s VERY quiet and lonely! Adopting a Pitbull is the best decision I have ever made.
What would you like to say to people who are afraid to adopt pitties from a shelter?
Hoomans! Pwease educate yourselves! Go an visit shelters, talk to and visit wif responsible owners of pibbles and Pibble rescues, see for yourself what amazing animals we are. I don’t judge all Hooman’s based on da horrible fings dey have done to each other AN our kind. So pwease… don’t judge us. Dogs aren’t born bad… it’s Hoomans dat make us dat way. AND IT’S HOOMANS DAT CAN SAVE US TOO!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes… just this … I am a dog. Yes, I am a Pitbull. And I am a loved member of a family. I am not a lawn ornament. I am not a security system. I am not a fighter. I was and continue to be, loved, trained and socialized, and most ob awl EXERCISED daily, just like my hooman siblings. I am the result of my situation and my upbringing. Just like a hooman child is. I am a Pitbull. I am Piglet! An I lub EBERYBODY!
May I borrow pictures of you – Miss Piglet ma’am- for the article? I will state that they were used with permission.
BOL! Well… I is a Mr… a desexed Mr… (But dats awlright, Hoomum said it’s acause I’m so pwetty AN handsome dat people gets confuseded) and yes. You are more than welcome to use any of my pictures from me facebutt page … Hoomum said you can too!
Fank you for givin me da opportunity to speak on behalf ob Pibbles everywhere!
Happy New Year everyone! I am so very lucky to be able to re-interview Midnight. Please check out the original interview
Since our last interview, how many stories have you published?
since the last interview i have published many new stories. i forget how many.
What do you find to be the hardest thing about being a writer?
i think the hardest thing about being a writer is trying to stay original. and yet i have to be true to the story line also. and finding the time to write is always a challenge, with the kids now and everything.
Are there any other writers in the family?
dad writes also, he helps a bit with my books.
How do you deal with fame?
i deal with fame pretty well. i mean i am a level headed panther, i don’t go off on dramatic rants very often. well not that often.
I’ve been following your reunion story, what was it like to finally see your mom again after so long?
omg it was so awesome to finally get reunited with mama! i was so happy to see her i jumped into her arms. i was like mama!!!! i sit on her as often as i can.
What was one of the first things you did with her?
i think the first thing mama and i did after we got all settled a bit was i snuggled up with her on the bed and purred and purred.
What does everyone think of the new place?
we are all pretty happy with the new house, we have more room to run and play. the slickery floors take some getting used to, but we adapt.
Can you share the secret on how to “panther”?
oh geez, the secret to panthering? well its a closely guarded panther secret you know. i mean i taught my son. i dont know if i can share it, i gotta check the rule book.
How do you find time to spend with the family and try to write your next story?
spending time with my family is of course the most important thing to me. I love playing with my kids and watching them grow into big happy kitties. i write when they are napping or if their mother cocoa takes them for a while, i can write then also.
Is there any chance people can get pawtographed editions?
sometimes we have copies of the paperbacks that I pawtograph and we will auction them off. you just have to watch my page for those.
What has been the inspiration behind your books?
i believe the inspiration behind the books is mostly my facebook fans, all them wanting to hear about my adventures! i love telling the stories, and it is so much easier to tell them when i have an audience.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Midnight & his wonderful fur and non-fur family. Pictures were used with permission.
Mercury will be 5 months old on the 4th of February (our best guess for his date of birth).
Where did his name come from?
We chose his name because my husband and stepson were talking about Roman Gods and mythology, and my first thought when I saw Mercury was that he made need wheels one day, so the song Bicycle Race by Queen was playing in my head. After a short discussion we settled on Mercury because he is the messenger in Roman mythology, as well as being the lead in Queen, satisfying everyone.
I read that he was found at 5 ounces, where was he found?
Mercury was found on a person’s back porch in Moore, Oklahoma, brought there by their cat. He had accidentally been hit with a weed whacker across the street, resulting in the loss of both front legs, and all but one toe on his back left foot. He was taken to one of our vets to see if anything could be done, and they called us to take him since we do bottle babies for local rescues. His umbilical cord wasn’t completely gone either, though it was very short.
How long did it take for him to open his eyes?
It was a week before he started to open his eyes, and they were open fully after another 2 days. He was found on September 7th, 2013.
How long was he bottle fed?
We bottle fed Mercury until he was about 6 weeks old, but we started to introduce mushy food (wet food mixed with kitten milk) when he was 5 weeks. For the first week he was fed every 2 hours, then for the next two weeks he was fed every 3 hours, and then fed every 4 hours after that. He was very easy to feed, taking to the bottle immediately, and once he figured out how to balance over the bowl he ate his mush, and then his wet food, really well. At about 8-9 weeks old we put dry food in front of him and he ate right away. Since the start he has also had cat and dog companions, as one of our adult cats, Nala, and two of our dogs, Rascal and Ginger, love to clean bottle babies.
Does he need any therapy or medication at this time?
The only medication Mercury has taken has been antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection he had. As for therapy, he has had that since the start, though nothing formal. Food has always been a big motivator for Mercury, so from the start we would make him push himself forward for his milk to work his back legs. When he was about 3 weeks old we started balancing him on his back legs at every feeding, just for short periods at a time to help build strength. After he was standing on his own we would then put a hand under his chest and encourage him to walk forwards on his back legs, and we would use his favourite toys to get him to jump in the air. As he grew we would create slightly bigger challenges for him- making him jump onto short stairs, walking on different surfaces, making him run after toys, making him balance for longer and longer on his back legs. We refused to carry him from place to place if it was something he was capable of doing on his own. He can now jump onto the couch from the ground, onto the back of the couch from the seat of the couch, walk on his back legs on a carpeted surface, and walk/run/balance on wood, tile and concrete, though he can’t grip slick floors very well since he only has 5 toes to hold on with. Each day we work with him on different aspects of moving around, to have him be as independent as possible.
How do the other cats of the house react to him?
The other cats are usually pretty good with him. We have other foster kittens just a little younger than Mercury, and they play with him just like they play with each other. Some of the adult cats refused to be around him until he was neutered, but they have the same reaction to all kittens until they have been spayed/neutered. Nala, the cat that would clean him as a baby, is one of his biggest idols, and he follows her around, trying to imitate her.
What’s his favorite thing to do?
Mercury loves to play with teasers. His favourite ones have a little mouse on the end, and one that has a mixture of feathers and mylar. He will wrestle with the kittens when they get in his way, and if they try to get on the couch with him he will bump them off. Something he has done since tiny is bury himself in blankets or a covered cat bed, often with just a tiny part of him sticking out. When he wants cuddles he will follow us around, yelling his little war cry, until he gets pats.
Is there anything else you would like to share about him or the furry family?
We would love if people look at Mercury and realize that just because someone is different doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance, love and attention. To us, Mercury is an inspiration to keep going, even when you have the odds stacked against you. He does everything a normal kitten does, and he has so much love and determination, he is simply wonderful to be around.
Of course you can use some of his photos/videos for the article. Thank you very much for taking an interest in him.
Mercury’s mum, foster for the Community Cat Coalition of Edmond.
Miss Eleanor, let’s start with you, may I ask how you came to your forever home?
Is this thingy on.. testing 1,47,15..
Well, I lived with some dude that took in my pregnant mommy, he didn’t know we were in there, when we were born, he was trying to find houses for us. Daddy found the dude, drove a big much time and TADA!!! Mommy was surprised after Tabby’s cheer practice with ME!
How many clothes do you have in your wardrobe?
I have a lot of clothes, I can’t count that big much yet, but a lot are too big much on me. I do donate my little much ones to a Sphynx rescue.
Do you have a favorite outfit?
I have 2 favorites, they were custom made for me, one has daisies on it, the other has sugar skulls. I love them so much, I am a model for the etsy page thingy that makes them.
Do you have a daily beauty routine?
I start off by making sure that I getted big much wrinkle sleeps. I get my cardio in by running and climbing anything and everyone. I don’t even want to think of all the stuff that the Crazy Mommy Lady does to me… my ears hurt just thinking of those evil Qtips!!!
Sir Francois Xavier LeFlufferbutte King of Tacos, how did you get such a glorious name?
Whaa, whaaaat is she saying? I can have tacos? Oh, she likes my name?
Are you really the King of Tacos?
(Now paying attention) YES! I am the King of EVERYTHING! The God Father, really.
Does any one treat you different because you are deaf?
The Mother figure does signs at me with her hands, other than that, no, not really, they all pretty much worship me.
Carlisle, can you explain what a flame point meeze is?
It depends on who you ask, Flame point Meeze, is a flame point, red point, some say we have an Albino trait Siamese.
Where did your name come from?
Well, the tiny human was obsessed with Twilight, before I came to live here, they had another flamer Meeze, named Jasper that passed away from Wet FIP, she wanted me to have a vampire name too.
Where is your favorite place to sleep?
I LOVE to sleep on top of the big plasma TV.
Miss Serefina, I love your name it’s so lovely.
You will really LOVE my full name then, Serefina Fiona LeFluffer the Queen of all Evil (I cut the Butte off my last name after Francois’ and my divorce.. LOOONNNG story)
What is your favorite thing to do?
I love to just be a total, um, Queen of Evil.
Only the ones that are too large on her, she’s usually picky about our hair, Mommy seriously uses a lint remover to get out hair off of Nor’s clothes… SPOILED MUCH?.. I mean, oh how I love my beautiful naked sister!
Who is your favorite playmate in the house?
I know it may sound like I am sucking up to her, but Eleanor. I felt like a loner before she came into our home. The other cats think that my markings are mean, Eleanor doesn’t care what anyone looks like, she was so sweet to me and we bonded instantly!
Sir Edward, what is it like living in a house with mostly ladycats?
The real question would be, what’s it like for all the ladies, living with big sexy me?!
May I ask if you are the biggest mancat in the house?
(Flexes his biceps & winks) ..
Is it true you are single?
For you, doll face, I’m whatever you wish for me to be.
What are you looking for in a nice ladycat?
She has to be attractive, well groomed, bury her own in the litterbox.
Tucker, what breed are you?
The vet THINKS that I am Pitbull/Great Dane.. I personally KNOW that I am just a really tall CAT!
How do you handle all the cats in the house?
Bella Shanaynay, I adore that name! Where did it come from?
I swing my arms and slap like the old TV character from the 90’s. My full name is Bella Shanaynay LaBousche Johnson III
What breed are you ma’am?
I am a “Toy” Schnauzer.. even though a Toy breed doesn’t really exist.
What is your favorite to do?
I LOVE to dig in the trash and hoard the lovely half eaten things that I find, especially banana peels and Styrofoam containers!…
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Eleanor and Her Hairies for answering the interview questions. It’s always a pleasure to do a group interview. You can find Miss Eleanor on her facebook page- Eleanor the Sphynx and her Hairies on their faceboook page- Eleanor’s Hairies. Pictures were used with permission.
This article is a part of the Happy Tails theme, for more interviews please click the badge below.
First of all, how did you find out about Lily & Dash?
I first found out about Lily (formerly Momma Littlenose) and her daughter Dash in April of 2013 when watching The Critter Room’s kitten cam on Livestream. Specifically, I saw a link for “Kittens Need Forever Home—Momma Littlenose” that someone had posted in the comment section of the Critter Room’s Facebook page. My heart melted the instant I saw the profile photo of Momma Littlenose (now Lily); it melted even further when I read her history and the story of her rescue. After watching her lovingly care for her 3 daughters on the Ustream that her foster parents had set up, by the hour, I fell deeper and deeper in love with Littlenose and her girls, specifically with the ever-so-active and mischievous Dash.
I didn’t know how or when, but I KNEW that somehow, some way, this Staten Island feral beauty and her daughter Dash were going to live the rest of their lives with me, in Boulder, Colorado. I was determined to make this dream happen. Thanks to URRKN—Underground Railroad Rescue Kitten Network—the dream became reality when Lily and Dash began their 10 day cross country journey—from Staten Island, NY to Boulder, Colorado on October 5, 2013 and were delivered into my arms on October 12, 2013.
Did they meow at all when you got them home?
No, not really…they were both pretty quiet. However, Dash now talks all the time and has something to say to and about most everything—the various toys, the water bowls and fountains, the wall, the floor, the litter box, etc. Lily is fairly quiet but will meow and talk to me when she wants some cuddles or whenever I talk with her. J
How did the others react to them?
Even though all my cats are laid back and pretty chill, I didn’t want to take any chances and introduced the new arrivals slowly. When I brought their travel crates in to the house, I immediately took them into my office, where they spent 4-5 days by themselves, acclimating to their new home, the new doting human, a new environment, and all the unfamiliar scents. After 5 days, I expanded their territory to include a bedroom and part of a hallway; they were separated from the other cats and rest of the house by either closed doors or stacked baby gates. The cats were able to see and sniff each other through the baby gates. Within 10 days, Dash and all my cats were, jumping over 6 ½ feet high baby gates at will. While I contend that my cats were more interested in the new cat food than with the new cats, they did sniff each other, lounge and nap on the chairs and bed with the new arrivals. Happily, unless you count Dash’s meager hiss or two, there were no hisses, growls, biting, yowling, or fighting—none! They have all gotten along wonderfully from early on and continue to do so.
Everyone in the house medium to long coated?
Six of my seven cats are medium to long-coated; Lucy is the only shorthaired one. I owned Afghan Hounds for many years…I obviously must not be bothered by having a clothes brush as a steady companion!
Are they all rescues?
HA…you may be sorry you asked because there is a story, of sorts, behind every rescue. Yes, all 7 of my cats are rescues. The first question/answer addresses Lily and Dash’s rescue/adoption circumstances. Follows are brief accounts of the rescues/adoptions of my other 5 cats.
I first heard about Wilson when his litter was just 2 weeks of age and was in regular contact with both the shelter and foster Mom from when he was 4 weeks of age. His gorgeous and heavily pregnant momma was placed in a loving foster home after her family surrendered her to a local shelter because they were moving and “couldn’t take her with them.” I rescued him when he was an 8 week-old kitten—literally within minutes of him being brought to the shelter for adoption. The only time he actually spent at the shelter was the time it took to finalize the paperwork…he was in my presence and climbing all over me the entire time.
Calliope was found as an unsprayed cat scavenging for food in someone’s backyard when she was about 6 years old. After eluding capture for nearly 3 weeks, she finally succumbed to the temptation of some canned food and was captured. She was taken to a high-kill shelter in one of the midwestern states; within days of that, a rescue organization in Colorado learned of her and managed to have her safely transported to a no-kill shelter in Colorado. She spent 6 months there—alone in a cage—before being transferred to Every Creature Counts, a non-profit, no-kill cageless dog and cat sanctuary in Colorado. She was housed there for another 6 months. One day while at Petsmart, I saw her, our eyes met, and it was instant love—she melted/melts my heart in much the same manner as Lily (Momma Littlenose) does.
Aruba, better known as Ruby, or The Island Kitty was rescued from the beaches of Aruba at the tender age of 6 weeks. Born a homeless beach kitty, she survived by hanging out at the local restaurants using her charm on the cooks, wait staff, patrons, and all who saw her. It really wasn’t that difficult to get the needed documents to bring her into the United States. She was taken to the vet, wormed, vaccinated, and given a health certificate. She even has an Aruban passport! We flew home 2 1/2 weeks later and—thanks to her charming the flight attendants—got bumped up to first class.
Lucy the Black Cat and her three orphaned littermates were rescued from a field in South Park, Colorado by a friend’s niece when they were but 3 days old. All 4 kittens had upper respiratory infections and the Parvovirus; after 4 weeks of 24/7 care, Lucy ended up being the only survivor. When Lucy was 9 months old, the niece had to relocate for professional reasons and was going to give the kitten to her mother. While an animal lover, her mother doesn’t believe in keeping cats indoors, even though she lives in rural South Park—and over the years has lost several cats mountain lions, foxes, and other wildlife. So, to save Lucy’s life yet again, I offered to take her in—temporarily—until the niece was settled in her new job. That was almost 3 years ago. Methinks she is now permanently mine. J
I found Maxwell as an intact male stray in my front yard when he was about 5 months old. Since he was so well nourished, extremely friendly, loved being petted, and purring his little heart out, I assumed he belonged to a neighbor and had escaped from his home. I brought him inside and put him in a bathroom with food, water, and a litter box as I walked around three blocks and knocked on all the doors to see if anyone had lost a kitten. When no one claimed him, I reported a found kitten at the Humane Society and posted his photograph on their website. I also made 150 FOUND KITTEN flyers and posted them around the neighborhood, by the park, and at the local market, wine store, and eating establishments. No one responded to any of the various postings. After 7 days, I phoned the Humane Society again, asking what happens if no one claims him; their policy is that if no one claims an animal after 7 days, the animal is put up for adoption. After filing paperwork and taking him to my vet for a wellness check, he was now mine, scheduled for neutering, and easily integrated into my household.
May I ask how you named everyone?
Lily’s foster parents originally referred to her as Littlenose because of her facial markings. They had a litter of four young feral kittens in their back yard, and needed a way to refer to them, so they selected names that described the their physical appearances— Littlenose had a narrow white stripe on her nose; Big Nose had a broad white stripe on her nose; Whitey had a lot of white; and Fatso, you guessed it, was BIG. After Littlenose had her babies she became Momma Littlenose.
I changed her name to Lily because I think the name is beautiful…as is Lily. It also sounded similar enough to Littlenose—at least the L sound does—that I thought that it might be easier for her to learn her new name, although mostly, I selected the name because I love it. As an added bonus, the lily is one of my favorite flowers and is a symbol of innocence, purity, and beauty—perfect for Lily.
Dash was the name given to her by her foster parents. I continue to call her Dash but most of the time it is now accompanied by Pumpkin. Yes, she is my sweet little Pumpkin Dash.
Wilson was named after the ball in the film Castaway. My original reasoning was that cats are typically about as responsive to humans as that ball in the film. Happy to report that while he may have his “cat moments,” Wilson is a very interactive, responsive, and loving cat.
Calliope’s epic journey, bringing her to my heart and home, reminded me of Homer’s favorite muse Calliope, the poetic muse—said to be the inspiration for Homer’s Odyssey and the Iliad. Thus, her name…Calliope.
Maxwell…I just liked the name.
Ruby is short for Aruba, from where she was rescued.
The person who found her as a 3-day old orphaned kitten gave Lucy her name.
How do they all get along?
All the cats get a long great. While they haven’t curled up in the yin/yang positions yet, they eat together, are side-by-side when they get treats, and sleep near one another—haven’t yet heard a single hiss or growl. Everyone plays with everyone else on a daily basis…Ruby probably less so than any of the other cats. While Lily certainly plays with and chases the other cats, Dash, Maxwell, and Lucy interact with one another the most. Calliope will initiate chase games with Dash, which are always cute and fun to watch.
How is the battle against ringworm going?
Treating the ringworm fungus that was introduced into the household with Lily and Dash—who both had a recent history of ring worm, tested negative under the unreliable Wood’s Lamp test, and never had a fungal culture done—has been a long and grueling process—for sure. Per the vet, we won’t know how it is going or when it is gone until we get 2 consecutive negative fungal cultures done at one- month intervals. Even then, we have to keep an eye on them for months as the fungal spores can live in the environment for up to 18 months.
That said, I am heartened with the new hair growth I see on all the lesion sites. New fuzz is new fuzz and cause to celebrate!
Does anyone have any new fuzz that you would like to share?
All the cats had lesions but Wilson and Ruby seemingly had it the worst; of all the cats, they had the most and the largest bald patches/lesions. They are all still scratching at themselves a bit—hopefully that is due to the dry skin brought on by having had lime sulfur dips every 5 days since the first week of December and not active fungal spores. But ALL THE LESIONS have NEW FUZZ…and as I said up above…new fuzz is new fuzz and cause to celebrate.
Can you explain what exactly is ringworm and what the treatment is?
Ringworm is the common name for the skin infection caused by a group of fungi; a worm does not cause it at all. The fungi feed upon the dead cells of skin and hair causing in people a classic round, red lesion with a ring of scale around the edges and normal recovering skin in the center. Because the ring of irritated, itchy skin looked like a worm, the infection was erroneously named. The fungi responsible are called dermatophytes, meaning plants that live on the skin, thus the more correct term for ringworm is dermatophytosis. The characteristic ring appearance is primarily a human phenomenon. In animals, ringworm frequently looks like a dry, grey, scaly patch but can also mimic any other skin lesion and have any appearance.
Classic symptoms of ringworm in cats include skin lesions that typically appear on the head, ears and forelimbs. Ringworm can cause flaky bald patches that sometimes look red in the center. In mild cases, there may be localized areas of redness or simply dandruff, while more severe infections can spread over a cat’s entire body. It’s also possible for a pet to carry ringworm spores and not show any symptoms whatsoever.
A cat can contract ringworm directly through contact with an infected animal-or indirectly through contact with bedding, dishes and other materials that have been contaminated with the skin cells or hairs of infected animals. Ringworm spores are notoriously hardy and can survive in the environment for more than a year!
Any cat can develop ringworm, but kittens less than a year old and geriatric cats are most prone to infection, while longhaired cats and those who are immunocompromised are also more susceptible. Ringworm can quickly spread in shelters or other crowded environments; warm and humid conditions tend to promote ringworm infections.
There are a few recommended treatment approaches, all of which are challenging, lengthy, expensive, and difficult. Most of the successful options involve a multipronged approach including, endless environmental cleaning (laundry, vacuuming, disinfecting with bleach, apple cider vinegar, or other antifungal solutions), applying topical antifungal ointments, oral medications, dips in a lime sulfur solution (or other antifungal dip/shampoos) every 5 days until 2 consecutive fungal spore cultures—done at one month intervals—test negative. I won’t go into the specifics, as it would take far too long to explain. There are several invaluable resources available online; more information may be found by visiting any one of them. Here is the one my vet gave to me, veterinary partners.com. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=559
I read you also pet sitting on the side, how did you get started?
There was a time when I owned 7 Afghan Hounds…7!!!…I know!!! Whenever I had to go out of town—be it for work or pleasure—finding someone to care for the pups was challenging and always more than a bit stressful. One day, a couple of friends told me of a graduate student that they both knew and had used for house and pet sitting. She would stay in your house and care for your pets while you were away. While she was delighted to care for the animals in exchange for a room away from roommates and/or campus, I was grateful for the peace of mind and compensated her for her service.
Having had people come into my home to care for my beloved furry family members in the comfort of their home was wonderful. It offered me so much peace of mind that, I decided to pay it forward and help other pet owners facing the same situation—extended or short-term travel. Several years ago, while in graduate school, I started doing house/pet sitting for a couple of friends; through word of mouth, news of my service spread and several people began contacting me for house/pet sitting…even planning ahead and making reservations months in advance. About 10-12 years ago, I decided to formalize this side gig and started a small business, my services include mail pick-up, stopping by for watering/feeding/playing with people’s dogs and cats, administering oral and injectable medications…sometimes an overnight is needed. I am fortunate to be able to do most of my professional work from home and fit the side work into my flexible home office hours. I have what I call regular clients and could probably have a lucrative little company if I wanted to hire a couple people and do this full time.
What has been you favorite pet sitting experience?
I have developed some great friendships, made a bit of extra money, and had fun—face it, tending to animals can be just plain old fun. Not to sound overly cheesy but for me, knowing that I am helping someone by taking care of their pets is very rewarding and is just an overall terrific feeling.
As for a specific favorite pet-sitting experience it would have to be when I was tending to a small sheep ranch and a few of the ewes started lambing. Heh…who would have guessed that my nursing background coupled with both the experience of having spent so much time on my grandfather small farm while growing up and my innate love for animals would come in so handy?
Is there anything you would like to add about yourself or the furry family?
On a serious note, when making the decision to add a pet to your family, please adopt, don’t shop…spay and neuter your pets. Also, if adopting/rescuing an animal that has a recent known history of ringworm, don’t rely on a Wood’s Lamp for the definitive diagnosis—get a fungal culture done. Yes, it takes time and costs a bit more money but trust me, that cost is small compared to the physical, mental, emotional, and financial costs of treating ringworm—especially if it is introduced into a multi-cat household.
On a less serious note: My Mom has always said while she’d like to think that my first word was MAMA but she really believes that it was MEOW. True story!
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of the following pets that have known love & comfort.
A lot of CH kitties have cute names like Tipsy and Wobbles, and Mom wanted something unique that sorta fit my personality and condition. I trip all over myself when I’m excited about something!
How did you come to your forever family?
My catmom was an outside kitty. My first humanmom realized I was different than my siblings and took me to see a doctor. They told her with my condition I wouldn’t survive outside on my own. So she began searching for a rescue that would take me in. She found my mom on Petfinder and explained the situation. My Mom has a soft spot for special needs animals, so she was excited about fostering me. But it didn’t take long for her to realize she wasn’t going to let me go, and I was really thriving here, so I went from being a foster kid to being a purr-manent member of the family!
Can you or your mom explain what CH is?
CH stands for Cerebellar Hypoplasia. It is a condition in which the cerebellum, the part of my brain that controls my motor skills, is underdeveloped. It is something I was born with, and it won’t ever get better, but it won’t ever get worse either. When I was really little I had a hard time sitting up, and didn’t walk very much at all. But with time, we CH kitties learn to adapt and cope with our wobbles and shakes, and I am walking better and farther every day!
Do you need any physical therapy to help you walk better?
The best PT for CH is play, play, play!!! Playtime helps strengthen my muscles and gets me moving. Mom and Dad built me a cart when I was an itty bitty kitty, and I used it a little, but I didn’t really care for it, and usually did better without it.
Do your fursiblings treat you differently?
Mostly everyone treats me pretty well here. Sometimes I think my movements confuse my “normal” fursiblings. But they’ve really accepted me since I’ve been here. My sister Popcorn mothers me and grooms me. But my BFF is definitely Yoga.
Yoga, how old are you?
I am about 10 months old.
Where did your name come from?
Mom named me Yoga because of my super straight paralyzed back legs, and the sometimes crazy positions I put them in.
How did you end up a part of the family?
I was found severely injured, with a broken pelvis, severed spine, and big open wounds. I am also unable to go to the bathroom on my own. I went home with Mom so she could help me potty over the weekend while the awesome vet clinic I was staying at was closed. And she never took me back! She enjoyed having me here, and like Trip, was thinking she would find me a good forever home once I was healed. But I bonded pretty quickly with Trip, and Mom realized she was really attached to me….. So I get to live here too!
I’ve seen a few pictures of you wearing clothes, is it only when it’s cold?
I have quite an assortment of pants, and socks, and even some shirts! Because I scoot around on my butt, I wear a diaper to keep my bum clean. The pants are so I don’t develop sores on my legs from scooting them on the floors/furniture. The socks I wear when I’m in my cart so I don’t make my feet sore, and the shirts are strictly for Mom’s entertainment. 🙂
May I ask how you became paralyzed?
I don’t really remember that day. It all happened so fast. But my best guess is I was either hit by a car, or maybe attacked by an animal bigger than me. I’m just not sure…..
Do you use your wheels often?
I do! I’ve gotten really comfortable in my wheels. Plus, I think I look pretty great in hot pink! Though I can get around really well without them, Mom thinks it’s good for me to get up into a more natural position when I can.
I saw a video with you chasing your tail, have you caught it yet?
That tail! I know it’s back there…. but every time I turn around to grab it…. it runs!
I don’t think ANYONE has ever caught that red dot!!!! It drives me crazy!!
How many siblings do you both live with?
We have each other, and 5 “normal” kitty brothers and sisters. We also have a dog sister…. and there’s a tortoise that lives here too! We love to follow her around the house, and touch her shell when Mom’s not looking. She feels neat! We have one human brother. He’s 14, and is great to us kitties. We have a pigeon foster brother right now too, he was injured so he’s staying here til he gets better. Mom won’t let us play with him, and we think that’s really not fair!
Is they anything else you would like to share about yourselves or your family?
We want people to know that pets that aren’t perfect can still make the perfect pet! Depending on their individual needs, they can take a lot of time and patience….. Yoga needs her bladder and bowels manually expressed, she wears diapers and clothes (which are cute, but they are also an added ‘chore’ to her daily care!), and she can’t be left alone for long periods of time during the day like other kitties can, so she gets to go to work with me on my longer days. Trip can’t use a regular litterbox, so we use puppy pads instead, and she also has some stomach sensitivities so she can’t have any old bag of cat food and we are feeding her a grain free diet with probiotic and canned food twice a day. So they take some effort…..But for someone that has the time to give, they are definitely worth it!!!
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Trip & Yoga and their mom for answering all the questions I could think of (and more!). Pictures & Videos were used with permission. You can find the entire family on their facebook page Trip the CH Kitty & Yoga the Disabled Kitty.
This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.
Tink, what exactly is a Lynx Point Meezer?
A lynx point Meezer is a type of Siamese (the best type! *giggles*) that has a lot of tabby type markings. When I first came to live with my family no one realized I was a Meezer. Our friend Mr. Peabody’s mommy is the one that told us. None of us had ever heard of it!
How did you come to find your forever home?
I came to my forever home as a foster. A friend of my mommy’s posted on FB that they needed to find a new place for me ASAP. Mommy couldn’t bear the thought any of the options that were suggested so she called her friend and told him she was coming to get me that very night. Once my Boy and I met, well, it was love at first sight and there was never any mention about fostering again. You’ve heard of that saying about a boy and his dog? We are a Boy and his Meezer.
Onslow, where did your name come from?
Hi! My unique name actually comes from a TV show. Have mew ever heard of Keeping Up Appearances? It is a British show and so funny. The family loves it especially the Onslow character. Nip addict? Who, me? I don’t know where these rumors are coming from! I do however like a little here and there but I don’t think I need a nip program. Do you?
Is it true you are a nip addict?
Nip addict? Who, me? I don’t know where these rumors are coming from! Will you have to go to nip anon this year?
I do however like a little here and there but I don’t think I need a nip program. Do you?
Sammy, do you think you have what it takes to be a Champion Lap Cat?
Oh yes, I think I do have what it takes to become a Champion Lap Cat!
What are you doing to train for this honor?
I work out daily. I particularly like to lap lounge when I know it is time for someone to go to work, school or out for whatever reason. Priorities, you know?
Mr. Sinatra, can you share your story with us?
I don’t really like to talk much about my life before now but a very kind lady rescued me. I had been abandoned to the world and out on my own for a long time. I was very cold, hungry and ready to just pack it all in. The kind lady tried to find out about me but no one ever came looking. The week before Turkey Day she asked my Mommy if she would keep me while they were away on vacation. I was still so painfully thin and scared and she didn’t want to leave me with just anyone. Well, the rest is as they say history! After a week together Mommy knew that she couldn’t part with me. She talked to the kind lady and she was thrilled with the idea. Now I am warm, happy and always have plenty to eat. I’m actually getting a little tubby in the tum! Ha-ha. Life is good!
Who did you make friends with first?
I made friends with Onslow first because he is such a mellow and easy going guy. We are all comfortable with one another now and that makes me happy. I really love being part of a family.
What would you or your mommy like to say about Angel Stewart?
Stewart was the best and sweetest companion to our Mommy and the best big brother, ever. When she found him under her car in a parking lot he was so tiny Mommy had to bottle feed him. They were together 16 years. He was a faithful friend and comfort during many hard times and a loving soul. He was also a good guardian to our Girl and loved her from the very moment she came home from the hospital. He was awarded his angel’s wings last July and left mighty big paw prints on our hearts. I miss him but our time together was full of love and fun and I’ll never forget him. Sometimes we see a bit of white fluff floating in the air and we know it is our Stewart visiting from the Rainbow Bridge. ~ Tink
Do any of you have New Years Resolutions that you would like to share?
Our NY Resolution will be to continue our mission to promote love, peace and kindness to all. We try to always be happy, have fun and be a safe place to visit. Oh, and to continue to swing and croon to the Rat Pack!
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Tink & the kittizens extraordinaire for letting me asking interview questions and sharing Stewart with us. Pictures were used with permission. You can find them on Facebook sharing pictures, stories of their daily lives, love & laughter.
This article is a part of the Happy Tails theme, for more interviews click on the badge below.
Can you tell me how you became a dog and cat household?
Well, I grew up with animals of all kinds, but no matter what animals we had we always had at least one dog and few cats, my husband Kevin also grew up a cat and a dog. His mom restricted the number of pets they were allowed to have, where as my mom pretty much let us go nuts and try a little of everything.
How well does everyone get along?
By and large very well. Simply due to the number of pets, there are the occasional disagreements or offense taken to personal space being invaded. The biggest squabblers are Belle and Memphis, who are litter-mates, usually over the inability to share my lap.
May I ask where did you come up with the names for everyone?
*laughs* Oh, you just had to open up a can of worms didn’t you? I’ll start with the simplest ones:
Hank (Sheltie) came with his name, he was a rescue of sorts, his original owner didn’t want him anymore, his second owner couldn’t handle him, and us being friends with the second owner offered to take him.
Pete (Tabby) was named after one of Kevin’s previous dogs, he has a tendency to name cats after past dogs, which stops with Pete.
Chloe (GSD) also came with her name, my mom was the one who named her and couldn’t seem to come up with anything else, I think it fits, Kevin not so much.
Willow (Husky/Collie mix) took me three days to name, I was running all the names I could think of by her, and one day after watching the movie “Willow” I was discussing the movie with her and she kept perking up when I said Willow. So she basically chose her own name.
Memphis and Belle (fluffy white cats) were named after the famous Memphis Belle bomber in WWII I have a blog post with the story (Whats with the name?)
Putt-Putt (Mal/Aussie mix) also has a story behind his name, suffice it to say that all the parts to his name started out as nicknames that just stuck. (Putt-Putt the Fluffy-Butt Sasquatch Coyote-Dog)
Is Q.B. 2.5 short for something?
Yes, and no. Q.B. 2.5 is an interesting story, its starts with his mother’s namesake Cue Ball, a white GSD mix Kevin had that is one of those ‘Once in a lifetime’ type of dog. Our whole town knew Cue Ball! After she had passed Kevin came into possession of a white female cat, and he named her Q.B. 2 after Cue Ball. Well, she had kittens and one of the kittens was the spitting image of her and being a kitten and not an adult got the name Q.B. 2.5
Does he have cauliflower ears of were they removed?
They were removed. He rapidly developed skin cancer on his ears pinna and they had to be removed.
I read on the about page Memphis has HOCM, can you explain what that is?
HOCM, is Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is typically when the heart is enlarged by the thickening of the heart walls. In his case it goes one step further and starts obstructing proper heart function, the walls of his heart are not only thicker, but are also starting to cause the valves not to close properly. Which in turn causes the heart to work harder and less efficiently. The first sign of this disorder is usually a heart murmur. He was diagnosed when he was 2 years old, he doesn’t need medication at this point in time since the progression is barely measurable. His cardiologist is happy with leaving him to live his life as is, but we do go in twice a year for an ultrasound to make sure it doesn’t suddenly get worse.
Since Memphis was born deaf, how do the others treat him different?
I don’t really think they treat him differently. They know something is different, but I don’t think they know exactly what. All the dogs pretty much ignore him since he is never phased when they start getting rowdy. The other cats tolerate him. He’s a very playful guy, and always wants to play and snuggle with them, but most of the time they don’t reciprocate, so when they give the vocal cues to back off, he can’t hear them and thinks they are playing with him. That being said when my husband and I merged households, Pete and Q.B 2.5 took to Memphis much better than Belle.
What tips/tricks do you have for people who are trying to manage a dog and cat household?
Regardless of who came first, the cats will need a ‘safe zone’ away from the dogs while they get used to each other. Cats won’t relax or sleep if they feel the dogs can get to them during the integration process, we also recommend fenced yards for everyones safety, and last but not least, make sure the dogs get plenty of exercise and attention and not just during the adjustment period. The dogs will be more focused on all the attention and going places over causing mischief with the cats.
Author’s Note: I was on the BlogPaws chat on Tuesday night and saw the name and immediately started a conversation. Many many thanks to Miss Victoria & her husband for answering the questions. Please go visit them on their blog Meet the Fur-Bombers, or their facebook page Meet the Fur-Bombers (catchy, isn’t it?)or catch them on Twitter @Furbombers.
This interview is a part of the Happy Tails theme, which shares stories of pets who were found, adopted and have their forever homes.