Monthly Archives: January 2011
The ASPCA is currently promoting their 2011 “My Furry Valentine Photo Contest.” To enter, all you have to do is take a photo of your beloved pet and tell your “love story” in 100 words or less. Five winners will be selected to receive an ASPCA Prize Pack. You can enter through February 12.
For the complete rules, visit the ASPCA Blog HERE.
And please post your Valentine and contest photos for us to see, too, on our Facebook fan site.
I received a thank you card in the mail featuring a chihuahua in a sombrero and the message “Muchas Gracias.” The dog on the front was adorable, but I was also intrigued to read the back of the card and find out that the pup “pin-up” was an “Underdog” named Maggie who had been in a shelter seeking a home. Maggie was the last of a litter that was left in a “cardboard box in a grocery store parking lot.” Maggie’s “Special Power” was that she was a “Rottweiler wannabe and part time desperado.” The card continued, “If you need a fearless guard dog, she’s your hombre.”
The card, part of a line called Hooray for the Underdog!, was sent to me by a dear lady, Caroline, who knows a lot about rescued dogs needing a home. She adopted a formerly penned and heart worm positive dog named Maggie Moo (or just “The Moo”), who Bobbie, Dr. West, and I worked for months to help. So, of course, Caroline would be sending cards featuring other pets looking for a home.
Hooray for the Underdog! cards are made by husband and wife photographers, Janet Healey and Joe Grisham. The dogs and cats in the pictures are up for adoption in shelters or have been rescued and adopted. Ten percent of all proceeds from the card sales are donated to shelters and animal welfare organizations. The cards have been featured on Oprah as a “gift that gives back.”
The motto for Hooray for the Underdog! cards is: “Celebrate the power and spirit of rescued animals everywhere.” And the card line is defined by this: “Great stationary with exceptional images and inspiring profiles of pets that were abandoned and then given a second chance at life.”
Since I am somewhat of a “card junkie,” this may soon be my favorite place to visit online. But beyond cards, they also offer journals, notepads, prints, folders, place mats, and pet tags. A little bit of something for everyone–especially ME (I’m a journal junkie, too…sigh).
To see the Oprah story, go HERE.
To browse the line of cards, go HERE.
We are not sure what kind of animal ripped into poor Sir White Wiskeys. Whatever it was, however, chewed him up pretty good. When our friend Betty wrote me that she had another kitty in need (Sir White Wiskeys came from the same neighborhood as Brian’s sweet Leo Albert), I told her to get him to Noah’s Ark as soon as she could. She said the cat was bloody and leaking a lot of pus. Betty had only seen the cat a few times before he showed up with wounds to his neck and the side of his face. She was worried that her sister’s Husky, a known cat killer, had attacked the seriously injured cat.
At Noah’s Ark, Dr. West put Sir White Wiskeys (he received his name because he was such a gentleman and had gorgeous white whiskers) out so she could clean up his injuries and neuter him at the same time. She had thought the wound would require a drain tube, but with a great deal of cleaning and flushing, the drain tube was deemed unnecessary. Dr. West was not sure what had caused the abscess and bite on Sir White Wiskeys. It could have been the Husky, although she was not sure if the cat would have survived that. It also might have been a raccoon or another cat. Happily, this gentle boy tested negative. We had been quite worried about that since he had been wandering the streets where Leo Albert had come from; our Leo Albert who tested positive for feline leukemia.
Sir White Wiskeys, it turned out, was a very nice cat–too nice to be returned to a place where he might end up even more seriously injured or dead in the future. So now this big guy (he weighs over 12 pounds and that is even after Betty told us she thought he’d lost weight during this ordeal) is recuperating with Carol. As soon as he is feeling better, we’ll post him for adoption. We know this sweetheart of a cat will find a safe, forever home very quickly.
We’ll keep you updated on our handsome Sir White Wiskeys. He is a talker, a lover, and a survivor.
If any of you have watched the television show, The Office, you will know that one of the characters, Angela, has a web cam on her cats at home, so she can watch their antics from her desk at work. The Office is one of my favorite shows, not only because of the intelligently hilarious and offbeat writing or Angela’s often familiar feline antics (she feeds the ferals in the parking lot at Dunder Mifflin, the paper company where she works), but because I also like to watch the romantic play between Jim and Pam.
Pam, who is played by Jenna Fischer on the show, once commented to Angela that she was “more of a dog person.” While that may be true of the show’s character, in real life, Jenna Fischer is a cat lover and a cat rescuer. In fact, before becoming a big star, Jenna volunteered with Kitten Rescue in Los Angeles as a foster mom. Now she uses her star power to host Kitten Rescue’s annual “Fur Ball,” a silent auction and dinner event. In 2010, Jenna helped the group raise over $65,000 at The Fur Ball.
Because I am such a big fan of the show, I recently christened three of a foster’s unnamed kittens with names from The Office: Dunder, Mifflin, and Halpert. Dunder and Mifflin for the Scranton paper company featured in the show. Halpert being Jim and Pam’s last name (now that they are married). Imagine my surprise to learn that Jenna Fischer had also rescued her own Dunder and Mifflin from the set of the show. She then went on to foster the pair and find them a forever family.
Although, Fischer has helped many other cats, one cat remains constant in her life–her best bud, Andy, who is now almost 20 years old. You can read more about Andy HERE.
It is always nice to read inspiring stories about those in the spotlight doing all they can to help those less fortunate. I am glad to know that Jenna Fischer, like all of us, is a cat rescuer extraordinaire!
To visit Kitten Rescue’s web site, go HERE.
On New Year’s Eve, I had a call from Dr. West (I knew she was not calling to ring in 2011). A man had phoned Noah’s Ark wanting to euthanize his cat. Well, that was not going to happen on Dr. West’s watch without a very just cause (as we all know, she will not euthanize severely injured animals as long as they show the will to live and will try to eat–that’s why we love her!).
Anyway, the man said that his “male” cat was 25 pounds and was peeing all over the place. Dr. West suggested that if the cat was that large, he might be diabetic and the peeing was a symptom of the disease. The man said that perhaps his wife had mentioned that the cat had diabetes (he couldn’t quite remember). But, again, he just wanted the cat euthanized because they were tired of all the peeing everywhere except the litter pan.
“Had the cat been to see a vet?” Dr. West queried further. No straight answer on that either. “Was he neutered?” The owner thought so.
And that is where I came in.
In her frustration with the man who was bent on killing his cat, Dr. West asked me if Black and Orange would take the cat to save its life if the man would bring him to her. Of course, I went along with Dr. West’s plan, agreeing to a cat I had not seen and which might have been very ill.
As fate would have it, there were many, many fallacies to the man’s story. First off, the cat was a female named Rhatima. She was very gentle and a bit shy, but loved to be held and purred loudly once she felt secure.
Secondly, there was more to the man’s story than he had previously let on. Rhatima was the little girl in the family’s cat and she stayed in the little girl’s room, who loved her. The rest of the family was not very kind to Rhatima and so she hid out with the little girl–in a room with NO LITTER PAN. Because she was afraid to make a run for the litter box in a different part of the house, she peed in the little girl’s room (all of this came out when the little girl and the rest of the family arrived at Noah’s Ark to turn Rhatima in). The adults refused to put a litter pan in a bedroom.
The little girl was heartbroken to give up her cat and Rhatima was also very, very sad.
Besides not being male, Rhatima also did not weigh 25 pounds. While she is not a petite gal, she is by no means as large as some of mine. She only weighs 14 pounds and could use to lose a bit of weight, but is nowhere near 25 pounds!
After a barrage of tests and the removal of a bad tooth, Dr. West found no signs of any type of diseases. No diabetes. Rhatima was a healthy, older lady (she is 9), who had been with this family since she was a kitten and had not received any type of vet care in many, many years. Her hair looked greasy and she had a ton of dander (had anyone been petting this cat, I wondered).
In fact, Rhatima seemed a bit surprised when I put her into my spare bathroom and began touching her. Bobbie said it didn’t seem like she had been petted very much.
The poor cat was depressed and would not eat for the first two days. She didn’t venture forth from her carrier the first night. When she finally did leave the safety of the carrier, she hid in my bathroom cupboard and scuttled about, always keeping low to the floor, and never coming out when I was in the room.
And that is where she has been for the past week. She loves the cupboard and she is slowly coming out of her shell. She loves to be petted and brushed and her purr gets so loud sometimes that it rattles her whole body. She will sit in your lap forever, but when you put her down, she hunkers close to the ground and runs to her safe spot.
What in the world was going on in that house to make this poor cat so fearful?
But guess what? She is a champ about using the litter pan. She waits until I am not there and then she leaps in and does her business. So much for the final bit of untruth to Rhatima’s life story.
Not male. Not 25 pounds. Not sick. Not a “won’t use the litter pan” cat.
So Rhatima and I are now getting acquainted and she can have as much time as she needs to feel comfortable. She will need to be adopted into a household that is quiet and where she will be allowed to progress at her own pace. But I know we’ll find the perfect family. We always do.
Rhatima also is okay with other cats. Of course, Bean Bag and Apple Seed had to run right in to see her the first moment she was there. They hopped on top of her in her carrier. I told Dr. West that they would run to greet a rattlesnake and have no fear for their safety (after all, everyone loves them, right? And “mom” would never allow them to get hurt in any way!). Rhatima made a few feeble hisses at them as they licked her and climbed on her belly, then she finally gave up and touched noses. Who can resist the power of Apple Seed and Bean Bag? No one!
Rhatima is one of the lucky ones. If she had ended up at another vet’s office or with a large shelter, her ending might have been very different. No one would have taken the time to unravel the knots in her life story. No one would have taken a chance on a cat whose owners just wanted her killed.
No one but Dr. West and us!
Although our mission statement says we focus upon helping cats in Madison and Union Counties, I have to admit that we sometimes overstep county boundaries when a cat needs us. Since I also grew up in Champaign County, in the small town of Mechanicsburg, I know quite a few people in that adjoining county. I also know that it is a very, very rural area (even more so than the sweeping fields of Plain City) with few resources for spaying and neutering stray and feral cats; few resources for finding homes for pets. So, yes, we have helped many, many cats in Champaign County who otherwise would have had no one looking out for them.
You can therefore understand why I was distressed to get an email back in December saying that the PAWS shelter in Urbana was closing and they did not know what would happen to the animals that were currently with the organization. PAWS is the only animal shelter in Champaign County and it is a “no kill” facility, adhering to the philosophy that every animal is valuable and deserves the chance to live.
I subscribe to the MechanicsburgOh.com web site and on there I read a blog posting about the shelter’s lack of funding. Sadly, this loss of revenue has happened to many, many non-profits over the past few years. Declining donations lead to a giant loss for the animals when charitable organizations can no longer function.
Black and Orange actually worked with PAWS in the past. One of their board members contacted us about using our weekly low cost spay and neuter clinics to sterilize some of their cats. They did bring about a dozen cats to Marysville for vet care, but when funds ran low and the drive proved a bit far, they had to discontinue their efforts.
I was reminded about PAWS again on Saturday when a banker friend from Urbana mentioned the organization (he was worried how B and O was faring in these economic times). Happily, my friend told me, kind donors had raised enough money to keep PAWS going for the next few months. But the shelter, which is now housed in an actual building you can visit (previously, it had been functioning out of volunteers’ homes and garages), is still in danger–as are the animals PAWS is trying to help. My banker friend worried what would happen to the animals if the shelter did close. Where would that many animals go? Who would take them in? Would they have to be euthanized (even though PAWS is a “no kill” shelter)?
Champaign County has many, many animal lovers. I know. Black and Orange has worked with a large portion of them when we’ve had money to help. I’d like to ask all of my friends in Champaign County to make a small donation to the PAWS Animal Shelter. I’d ask the same of anyone who is looking for an underdog to support. PAWS needs any help you can give them, no matter what county you live in.
You can send a donation to: PAWS Animal Shelter, 1535 West US Hwy 36, Urbana, OH 43078
As they are a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible!
You can read the MechanicsburgOh.com blog HERE.
Vote for Black and Orange Cat Foundation in The Animal Rescue Site’s $300,000 Shelter Challenge of 2011. In conjunction with Petfinder.com, The Animal Rescue Site will be giving away grants totaling $300,000 to the animal shelters and rescues that garner the most votes. You have 10 weeks to vote and you must vote each day to help us get the most votes. Among the 69 monetary prizes that are being given away are ten $1,000 weekly winners.
All you have to do is go to The Animal Rescue Site HERE.
Click on the Purple Button that says, “Click Here, it’s FREE.” This will give free food to participating shelters and rescues. Once you have clicked, you will be taken to a second page. At the top of that page is a “Vote” box. Click on that and you will go to a page where you can vote for us.
To vote for us, put in Black and Orange Cat Foundation under the name of the rescue. You may also need to put in our city and state: Plain City, Ohio. After you have voted for us once, you will automatically have us as the group you are voting for the next time you return to vote.
Besides voting for Black and Orange each day after you click, you can also enter a story about a B and O kitty in the “New Beginnings Story Contest.” By entering your story, you will give us a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000 or four runners-up prizes of $1,000. On February 28 and 29, the judges at The Animal Rescue Site will pick five story finalists. Then between March 2 and 20, everyone gets to vote on their favorite stories–once every day.
To find out more and to enter your story, go HERE.
Thank you for doing all that you can to help Black and Orange!
I recently came across an article in a magazine about the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the Foundation they run which helps provide vet care to families who cannot afford it for their companion animals. The AAHA Foundation provides care for sick and injured pets when owners are facing financial difficulties or even when the animal is abandoned at the vet’s office. Since we often have people contact us looking for help with medical care for their pets, I thought this would be a good bit of information to pass along. We try, as we have funding, to help, but we cannot always provide hundreds or even thousands of dollars to assist.
With this program, vet care is provided through AAHA-accredited veterinary practices, who apply for grants on behalf of the pet in need. The amount is limited to $700 per practice in a calendar year and $500 to a particular family seeking help. The vet practice has to fill out a grant and submit it for the pet within three weeks after treatment has been given.
To find out more, visit: AAHAHelpingPets.org