Monthly Archives: July 2010

Aisling and Pangur Ban in a scene from "The Secret of Kells."


Joe and I went to see a movie that was listed as part of the Drexel Kids Series. However, although the movie, “The Secret of Kells,” was animated, it was the most gorgeous “cartoon” I have ever seen. The film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Animated Feature, tells the story of Brendan and Irish monks working to create sacred texts in the Abbey of Kells. Of course, the most splendid of these is The Book of Kells, an intricately penned manuscript spilling forth calligraphy and elaborate artwork in the form of knots, spirals, and intricate borders. All of the same artwork weaves its way across the movie screen. 

My favorite part of the movie, besides the fairy, Aisling, and the hypnotic drawings (which were done by hand, not computer generated), was the little white cat, Pangur Ban, with one green eye and one blue eye.

Pangur Ban comes from an Irish poem of the same name written by a monk in the ninth century about his little white cat (“ban” actually means white and “Pangur” would have been the cat’s “formal” name). The poem speaks of the monk working on copying words into books while his cat keeps him company–a very similar premise to the movie where Pangur Ban watches over the monks creating The Book of Kells. The last line of the poem relates how the monk is “turning darkness into light,” an underlying theme of the film. To read the complete poem: Pangur Ban poem

You must watch this beautiful scene where Pangur Ban becomes like a wisp of mist and goes where Aisling cannot go to save the hero, Brendan: Aisling’s Song

I promise, you will not be able to get Aisling’s Song out of your head or the image of Pangur Ban out of your heart once you have been drawn into “The Secret of Kells.”

Freekibble and Tails Magazine are trying to get a Presidential Proclamation to make April 30th, “National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.” But to do this, they need your help. They want President Obama to receive 100,000 letters and emails by September 30th asking that this day be set aside to honor shelter animals. You can go to the Freekibble web site to read more about this initiative or go directly to the Tails Magazine site to send your emailed letter: Send a letter to the President

For every letter that is sent, Halo, Purely for Pets, will donate a meal to shelter dogs and cats–up to 50,000 meals! So far, over 44,000 emails and letters have been sent.

You can send an emailed letter each day to the President, up until September 30, so stop back at the Tails web site each day to remind President Obama that the animals are depending on him.

And don’t forget: while you are on the Freekibble web site, make sure you answer the dog trivia question and the cat trivia question at the Freekibblekat site. Each time you pick an answer (even if you are wrong), food will be donated to shelter dogs and cats. This week, July 12-16 is Presidential Pet Trivia Week to celebrate the letters to the President.

 Fruit Bat with her new mom. Fruit Bat was a bit distracted–there were kittens (hurrah, kittens!) playing in a cage in the waiting room at Noah’s Ark.


Fruit Bat is no longer wearing casts and she is also no longer a girl looking for a home. Dr. Kim West has adopted Miss Fruit Bat and our little chihuahua will be enjoying the good life with her sister, Tupelo, (and several kitty siblings, as well as some guinea pigs and turtles) the rest of her days. 

Fruit Bat’s legs and ankles are still a little weak after the surgeries and from being in casts. So it will just take some time for her to regain strength in them. Her back ankles will always be a bit weaker than her front ones. However, if Dr. West never lets her walk anywhere (yes, she is spoiled, but she has the right to be) and transports her in the Baby Bjorn where her feet never touch the ground, it might take a bit longer for those ankles to fully recover. But our girl can walk and that is what is most important.

Fruit Bat and Dr. West would both like to thank everyone for all the love, donations, and healing thoughts that were sent their way. They were overwhelmed by the fact that so many people cared and wanted to help. 

Do you promise to love me forever? Of course, you do!

Our shady set up under a tree on the lawn at MARS.

This was one of the nicest events we have ever attended. For starters, the “cat people” got prime spots on the lawn at the MARS Adoption on the Lawn Event on Saturday, July 10. The MARS volunteers put all of the kitties under trees in the shade to keep them from getting hot. We had prime real estate at this four hour event during some of the hottest moments of the day.

Not only did we get spoiled with our location, but I have to say, the MARS people who came out and helped with this event were the kindest group of volunteers I have ever met. They went out of their way to make everything very, very easy for us. The MARS people helped us carry everything to our spot. Then they also provided us with water for ourselves and the cats. Additionally, they came by every half an hour to ask us if we needed anything, and then they helped us clean up. I have been to other events where you are pretty much on your own–and don’t even bother to ask anyone to lift a crate or a table. But not here. Everyone bent over backwards to help us in any way possible.

Plus, we had food galore–free food, at that. Chips and drinks and water and a giant cat carrying all the M & M’s you could eat! What more could you ask for?

The Giant M & M toting MARS cat.

The MARS event is by invitation only and there were fifteen groups on the Lawn on Saturday. A DJ kept track of the adoptions that occurred throughout the day and there were well over twenty lucky animals that found new homes.

While we did not have any adoptions, we did have several people who were interested in our kitties. One family in particular fell in love with our Maine Coon boy, Alastaire.

We also discovered what sweethearts Apple Seed and Bean Bag are. We split the brothers up because their crate was just too small for both of them. But Bean Bag, separated from Apple Seed, went and crawled in his litter pan, a bit despondent. So we picked him up and passed him around for the entire four hours. He never grew tired of sitting in someone’s lap. I have never seen a cat behave so well for that long of a period of time. He went to sleep, perfectly content, and was not disturbed by the noises, the dogs, or the kids who wanted to pet him.

Bean Bag was passed around from one lap to the next and he never grew tired of all the attention.

Apple Seed, on the other hand, never lost any energy. He is like a hyper Energizer bunny. He knocked over his litter pan trying to grab a tiny green toy mouse. He batted at the kittens next to him, trying to steal food from Harper Lee and her siblings, Stephanie and Hamilton. He practically did flips each time someone came by his crate, lifting his butt in the air, and shaking his tail.

The kitten crew, Harper Lee, Hamilton, and Stephanie, did very well considering that they must have been picked up over one hundred times. Every kid on the lawn wanted to hold them.

By the end of the day, everyone was worn out and we had to turn on the portable fans to keep the gang from getting too hot. Alastaire, the hairiest of the bunch, laid down in front of his fan and refused to move. He was perfectly content with the breeze in his whiskers.

My own personal fan...what more could a cat want?

We want to thank everyone at MARS for treating us like royalty. We also want to thank Kristin, Christina, and Susan for helping with the event and Linda, Brian, and Christina’s Aunt and Uncle for coming out to visit us and support us. An especially big thank you to Sheryl, Diane, and Judy, who I work with at MARS for food donations. You guys are the best!

Finally, at the end of the day, MARS gave all of the rescue groups lots of free food to take home to their animals. No one got left out–not even those who stayed behind at the shelters or in foster care.

Who could toss these babies in the trash?

I had an email today from Emma, a lady we have worked with in the past to get vet care and homes for kittens. Here is what she told me:

So another sad story. I went out to my dumpster at my apartment complex late last night and found very small kittens. Two had already passed away and the two that were left were in bad shape. I took them both in my home and warmed them up and cleaned them up.  They were both skinny, flea infested, with gunky eyes, and listless. One has a hernia, I believe, also. I picked off a ton of fleas because I figured bathing them would be too stressful in their fragile state. They are about three weeks old. They are not litter trained yet either. I got them to eat kitten wet food and to drink water.

“I’m actually very happy they made it through the night.  They look better this morning. They are walking around, but sleeping lots still. I am taking them to the Kenny and Fifth Animal Hospital to get a check up and find out what the best thing for them will be. The kittens are very friendly and just want to be held.”

Just a while ago, I had another email from Emma with the photo at the top of this posting. She had taken the two to the vet and they gave these tiny boys a dose of dewormer and Lysine for their colds. The vet’s office told her to wash them with Dawn Dish Soap to get rid of the fleas, as they were two small even for Capstar. They are only about three weeks old. One weighed eight ounces and the other was eleven ounces–the tiny boys were not even a pound.

Emma is going to take care of them and will return them to the vet in two weeks to get them checked out again. I told her we would help her find homes for them when the time came to do that.

I am sitting here now trying to keep from crying. Who would throw tiny kittens in a dumpster and leave them to die?

I want to change the world to make it a place where there are not so many kittens that people think it is okay to just consider them trash and leave them in the garbage. My heart aches for the two that did die amongst the litter. But my heart also bursts with joy to know that people like Emma exist who save creatures from this horrible fate. One day, I want to live in a world where kittens are valued and cherished, treated like rare jewels, not unwanted banana peels.

With all of us working together, that day will come.

Kristin and Christina took Miss Springfield, the gorgeous Siamese who hitched a ride with Kristin when she was in Springfield on a work assignment, to see Dr. West and discovered that our “prego” kitty needed a new nickname. She could no longer be called “Mama,” because she was not pregnant.

Boy, did I have you all fooled!

Just to remind you how Springfield wormed her way into our lives:  Kristin saw her standing by the side of the road, trying to make her non-existent thumbs work so she could play kitty hitchhiker. Kristin slowed down and before she could ask what a nice cat was doing in such a bad place, Springfield jumped inside the car and demanded to be taken home with Kristin. Such is the will of these cats. From Kristin’s car, she went straight to Noah’s Ark, where Dr. West diagnosed her as pregnant (and at her age!). Shocking!

But weeks passed and no babies were ever born. We had talked at length about whether to abort these “non-existent” kittens and had decided to let “Mama Springfield” have them. We had worried for nothing. Like a can of tuna in a house of cats, Springfield’s pregnancy disappeared–too bad that doesn’t happen with every supposedly pregnant cat! We could save a lot on our spay budget.

No worries now. Springfield went today to get spayed, so she will never, ever be a “Mama.” Thank, goodness!!

We’re not exactly sure what happened. Dr. West said it was just a misdiagnosis and we are thrilled with that. While we know Kristin and Christina are slightly disappointed not to have tiny kittens, Miss Springfield is not. She had decided long ago that most children, especially those spoiled Siamese, are kind of bratty.

Look for Miss Springfield soon in her very own, forever home.

"It's okay. I love you even if you're not pregnant."

On Tuesday, July 6, In Defense of Animals (IDA) is asking everyone to join together for an International Day of Action for South Korean Dogs. South Korean dogs are slaughtered and eaten and kept in horrible conditions.

I won’t get too graphic in this article, because my focus has always been to keep animal issues positive. I think many of us who love animals get burnt out and deeply distressed after seeing so many horrible photos and videos of animals in peril. Often, I think, the very people we want to educate are turned off by gruesome pictures. While there is a place for these kinds of things, it is not here on my blog, which I want to keep as a safe zone where people want to visit. I know I cannot force myself to look at photos of animals in pain. The images flash back in my mind over and over and I have nightmares.

So I am just asking you to keep the South Korean dogs in your thoughts on July 6. These dogs suffer endlessly as there is a belief that the more pain and torture the dogs go through prior to death, the more “virility” a man obtains from eating the meat.

To read more about the International Day of Action for South Korean Dogs, visit IDA’s blog site: Help South Korean Dogs

If you can stomach the photos, there are images of a dramatic rescue of some of these dogs on IDA’s site.

On July 6, please join activists around the world and send good thoughts and much love to the South Korean dogs.

Additionally, you can sign a petition to express your concern and ask that these dogs stop being tortured: Stop Killing Dogs Petition

The groups, United Dogs and Cats joined with Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), responsible for this petition are trying to gather one million signatures to present to the South Korean government. They are about halfway there, so please add your signature, as well.

To learn more about IDA and other issues they support, you can also visit their web site: In Defense of Animals

Dr. Todd Kyle is leaving Riverside Drive Animal Care Center in Dublin for greener pastures. Now, we would be bursting with excitement if we could say we had talked him into coming to Plain City to open up a practice. But, alas, Dr. Kyle is heading in the opposite direction, going east instead of west, riding into the sunrise of a Reynoldsburg skyline. His last day at Riverside will be next Thursday, July 8.

While Dr. Kyle may look mild mannered, the Clark Kent of the vet world, beneath his dress shirt and tie, he is wearing a B and O t-shirt, which he exposes when he turns into "Super Vet."


Now we don’t have all the details about where Dr. Kyle will be practicing, but from looking him up in the Yellow Pages we know that he will be at 6724 East Main Street in Reynoldsburg. He is going into practice with a friend of his who he graduated with from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The older partner in this practice is retiring and Dr. Kyle is taking this opportunity to step in.

We cannot thank Dr. Kyle enough for all that he has done for Black and Orange and for our own personal cats. Whenever there was anything weird that came along, we always relied upon Dr. Kyle to figure out the strange symptoms. Because of this, he saved Irene from pancreatitis, solved Mitch and Clayton’s diarrhea issues, and literally resuscitated Miss Flower from the dead.

Dr. Kyle also kept a calm face when I brought in a cat in a makeshift “house” who could barely walk and was in such poor shape, I turned away in disgust. He was the one who kindly euthanized it. 

Dr. Kyle has also answered our questions, treated us with respect, and helped keep our costs low for B and O. 

One of my favorite memories is of the day Dr. Kyle showed Joe and me what he was wearing under his conservative, business dress shirt. Unbuttoning the top buttons, much like Super Man, he exposed a Black and Orange Cat Foundation t-shirt and then proudly puffed out his chest.

Dr. Kyle is not only a good vet, but a good friend and we are going to miss him. 

Dr. Kyle told us that he understands Reynoldsburg is too far for us to drive and with Dr. West back in Dublin, he knows we are in good hands. But he also assured us that if we ever had a tricky case, he wasn’t too far away to help.

Thank you, Dr. Kyle, for all that you have done for our kitties. Reynoldsburg is getting not only a “Super Vet,” but a super human being, as well.

Dr. Kyle’s new office phone number in Reynoldsburg, per Yellow Pages, is 614-868-5000.

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