Foster Anniversary

At last year’s Clear the Shelter event (held on Saturday, August 19th), our lives changed when we decided to foster two tabbies. We had not fostered before but Aaron and I decided jointly that these boys really needed us.

Aristotle was gaunt, pitiful-looking, and had patchy fur due to overgrooming. Because of his severe stomatitis, he had (understandably) a poor appetite.

Tink, then two years old, had spent cumulatively 18 months at the shelter (partly in foster care). He had been adopted and returned three times, and had recently lost his buddy cat Pan. While he had been successfully paired with a new buddy, Tink was decidedly not doing well in the shelter and spent 95% of the time hiding.

Both cats were skittish, extremely shy, and wary. They needed a lot of TLC and a quiet respite from the shelter. In our care they made noticeable improvements, especially because we were patient and made an effort to gain their trust. Only two weeks later they moved in! Since we brought them home during the Clear the Shelter event, the adoption fees were waived.

A year later, they are very different, and much happier, cats. They are no longer so skittish and timid. Charlie (formerly known as Tink) blossomed into a perpetually sunny, friendly, and affectionate cat. He squeaks! He flops! He snuggles! Garrus (formerly known as Aristotle) underwent dental surgery to treat his stomatitis and is now a much healthier cat with bunny-soft fur. While still on the reserved side, he now asks for visits, bats at crinkle balls, and chases after the red dot with gusto.

As you can see, Charlie and Garrus are not concerned. They may, however, be only slightly overloved in our house.

International Homeless Animals’ Day

In 1992, the International Society for Animal Rights created International Homeless Animals’ Day (IHAD), celebrated worldwide. This year, the 27th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day will be observed on Saturday, August 18th.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

This campaign is intended to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of homeless and abandoned animals across the world and educate the public about pet abandonment, feral animal overpopulation, and the benefits of neutering/spaying pets. Check out ISAR’s website and Facebook page for more information.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Clear the Shelters!

Clear the Shelters is an nationwide pet adoption drive that began in 2015. This year it occurs on Saturday, August 18! A number of shelters may expand this drive to the entire weekend. More than 150,000 pets have found homes as a result of this campaign!

“Don’t you wanna take me home? We could snuggle.” Photo courtesy of Pexels

Across the country, NBC and Telemundo stations are teaming up with hundreds of animal shelters to spread the word about this adoption drive. Check out this neat map that shows all the animal shelters nationwide participating in the event. You can also spread the word in your local community by word of mouth and on social media using the hashtag #cleartheshelters.

“I’ve been adopted!” Photo courtesy of Pexels

DOGust and Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

Happy DOGust everyone! And, whew, it is HOT. So obviously it’s time for indoor parties. Do you throw birthday parties for your pets? I have friends who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. However, if you don’t always know your dog’s birthdate. Thanks to the efforts of the North Shore Animal League and the ASPCA, the month of DOGust and the Universal Birthday for Shelter and Rescue Dogs came into being!

Photo courtesy of Pexels

At a loss at how to throw a DOGust-worthy “pawty”? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. If you’re going to have any outdoor activities, do it early in the morning and in the shade. Dogs can get overheated and sun- or heatstroke.
  2. Offer lots of water to human and canine guests to keep them cool and comfortable.
  3. Don’t forget refreshments. Peanut butter treats would be a good idea, or, for the ambitious, a bone-shaped puppy cake.
  4. Provide splash time in a kiddie pool and lots of toys so everyone can play. If some want to play inside, that’s okay too.
  5. In lieu of presents for your pup, request that guests make a donation to a local shelter or rescue group. This can be cash, supplies, time, or skills!
  6. For party favors, all the canine attendees could get bandanas.
  7. Remember to take plenty of snazzy photos!
  8. Have fun!

Photo courtesy of The Dodo

Exchanging Pleasantries

Although Mau remains in our foster suite (read: Aaron’s office) because he’s on the skittish side, we propped two baby gates in the doorway so that he could see more of the house and passively meet our cats through a barrier.

Charlie is utterly fascinated by the presence of another cat and really wants to be friends.

Charlie and Garrus hang out in the hallway sometimes when they see Mau.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap a photo of Garrus sitting politely, like the gentleman he is, on one side of the gate while Mau chatted to him on the other side. It sounded like Mau just repeated his name over and over again. I was pleased with their initial meeting. Charlie has done the same thing, sometimes punctuated with squeaks and rubbing himself against the gate.

For his part, Mau has done well. At times he seems quite curious about our cats while at other times he would prefer the company of people only. Mau has occasionally hissed at Charlie, although I think that’s because he’s not a fan of Charlie’s habit of staring at him. (Charlie is enthusiastically friendly but not always adept at reading other cats’ body language and vocal cues. Imagine a feline version of Spongebob Squarepants.)

Sometimes Mau initiates staring contests.

Visiting Mau

Our original goal of visiting the shelter on Sunday afternoon was to visit Mau. We had a lovely time with him. He doesn’t mind the kittens and apparently likes other cats, although one of his previous housemates, Virginia, did not like him. He enjoys being brushed and, when taken to the interaction room, evidently knows about lap time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snap a photo of him climbing into Aaron’s lap.

One of the volunteers suggested that he be renamed Frankie or Sinatra because of those beautiful blue eyes!

Compared to Garrus and Charlie, he has big paws! He’s also heavier than I expected, given that he is on the skinny side. On this visit, we were able to pick him up and hold him. He also purred! Cue warm fuzzies.

Kitten Palooza Part Two

As promised, here are more photos of the kittens Aaron and I visited yesterday afternoon. It’s hard to get photos of 9 scampering kittens, especially when occasionally one’s hands are full of said kittens.

The bicolor tabbies were Ragdoll-level super chill and enjoyed being cradled.

This one had an adventure on the new cat tower.

Must investigate ALL the things!

I found a spot!

Hide-and-seek?

Who could resist that face? I could not. I babbled inanely at her and gave her lots of lovies. (That’s the official term.)