“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Friday, 31 October 2014

Mario’s Smile Won them Over

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cat storiesIn 2011, a married couple had just made the agonizing decision to put their long-time cat companion to sleep due to health issues. Their house seemed quiet, empty and lonely without the sweet “meow” of their loving fur-daughter, Misty. They decided to make a trip to the local Humane Society to see what cats might be looking for homes. They walked in to the cat room at the Humane Society and were greeted with about 15 cats walking, lounging, playing and napping. Immediately a black cat walked up to the gentleman (Don) and started rubbing against his leg’s, purring as loudly as he could.


Don’s wife was busy eyeing up a calico kitty named Princess who was busy ignoring all the visitors in the cat room. Don told his wife that he was certain the black kitty was “the one” and was ready to sign the adoption papers that day. His wife, however, talked him in to waiting a few days. She explained that she didn’t want to rush the decision, especially after losing their dear Misty such a short time ago. Don agreed to come back to the shelter in a few days and see if they felt the same connection to the black cat.


Don and his wife returned to the shelter two days in a row and each time they entered the cat room the black kitty walked right up to Don and began purring and rubbing against his legs. By the third visit, both Don and his wife were convinced that the black kitty was meant to come home to live with them. They could no longer deny that the cat had a very strong connection to them and needed to become their new companion.


After signing the adoption papers and placing the cat in a carrier, the couple was on their way home when they decided to stop at their vet’s office to make sure the feline didn’t have any known health issues. They had already decided on the name “Mario” and, so, introduced him to the staff at the vet clinic as such. Don and his wife were retired and lived on a fixed income so they were happy when the vet declared Mario to be a healthy cat except for one issue . . . he needed to have his teeth cleaned. The vet estimated that Mario might need one tooth pulled during the cleaning and also informed the couple that Mario had an active infection in his mouth (probably due to needing a cleaning).


The couple scheduled Mario’s teeth cleaning straight-away and all went as expected except that Mario developed another infection after it was done. The vet prescribed antibiotics to clear it up, however, one infection lead to another . . . then another . . . then another! Several rounds of antibiotics later and their vet finally referred Mario to an Animal Dentist about 50 miles from where they lived. The dentist diagnosed Mario with stomotitus and said that he needed to have all of his teeth pulled over a 5 month period. The couple was devastated!


After all of the surgeries were completed the total they spent on Mario’s teeth was over $10,000! They had to dip in to their retirement fund to cover the cost.



The silver lining?


Mario’s wonderful family doesn’t regret for one moment adopting the black kitty and bringing him in to their lives. They consider his adoption to be the best decision they have ever made. Mario now uses his story as a teaching tool on Twitter and encourages other feline pals to see an animal dentist whenever he hears they have infections that never clear up. Stomotitis is a very serious desease and can eventually cause death or very serious health problems. Mario was one very lucky cat to find such a loving family!

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cat Stories - Bingo's Big Adventure

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Bingo was only eight weeks old when she was adopted by a nice young woman named Sarah. Sarah took the adorable little calico kitten home to meet her husband and twelve-year-old son. Bingo loved Sarah’s son immediately and they played together for a long time on the floor. It was a good match.

The family enjoyed getting to know Bingo over the next few weeks and frequently found themselves laughing at her crazy antics. She would attack their feet when they walked around the house which they all found quite hilarious because she was so small. Despite her size, she would put everything she had in to her “attacks”, kneeling back with a swishing tail only to pounce vigorously like a tiger on top of any moving foot.

Cat Stories Bingo

Bingo had full run of the home but hadn’t yet found the courage to venture out on the large acreage the family owned. There were two ponds near the back of the property that had many tall trees growing on it. Sarah enjoyed spending time there because she found it so pretty and relaxing. One day Bingo decided to follow Sarah to the quiet spot.

As Sarah relaxed in a lounge chair, about to doze off, she heard Bingo begin meowing very loudly. Sarah looked up to see Bingo had climbed to the top of a small tree. The top of the tree was swaying precariously and Bingo was getting more fearful as the moments passed. Her yowling filled the afternoon air. Sarah ran toward the house looking for her husband and, at her frantic calls, he came running.

As they both considered how to help Bingo, neither of them could come up with a way to get her down. Soon Sarah’s son came running over and quickly formed an idea to rescue her. Mom and dad watched as their son quickly shimmied up the tree. Bingo’s cries became more frantic as he neared the top of the swaying tree. When he got close enough to grab her, the tree bent over and hung directly over the murky pond beside it.

Now, not only was Bingo crying at the top of his lungs, but their son was as well! He was screaming that he was going to fall when Sarah’s husband instructed him to try and back down the tree. Unfortunately, his pants were snagged on a branch so he couldn’t get down.

A neighbor heard the frantic cries of child and feline and arrived unexpectedly on the scene driving his big green tractor. The helpful neighbor drove right up to the pond and extended the bucket so that the young boy was able to simply step down in to it, grabbing Bingo as he did so.

Once put down safely on the ground, Bingo took off like a shot towards the safety of the house.

Since that day, Bingo has spent many a sunny day lounging on the front porch of the house or chasing butterflies in the family’s front driveway, but he refuses to venture in to the back yard.

No one can say that Bingo didn’t learn his lesson that day. The family agrees that they never have to tell Bingo anything twice.

He is one smart cat.
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Cat Behind the Door

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In  

Why are you looking at me?
Can’t you see I want to be alone?
I hid behind the door for a reason
But I can’t get it to close


The dogs are barking
The kids are crazy
I hid behind this door for a reason
I just want to be lazy


The T.V. is loud
Interrupting my sleep
I hid behind this door for a reason
I don’t want to hear a peep


Now you mow the lawn?!
You were supposed to do it for weeks
I hid behind this door for a reason
So move and don’t peak


So go away and don’t come back
Shut the door when you leave please
I hid behind this door for a reason
So I can sit here in peace


Simeon Russell


cat poems
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Monday, 20 October 2014

Popeye's Long Journey Home

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Popeye cat storiesFurkids is one of Georgia’s largest animal rescue shelters so it seems surprising that one sweet-tempered cat would have the ability to steal the hearts of so many of its volunteers. But, when a scruffy, grey-colored cat was surrendered to the no-kill shelter in 2007 that is exactly what happened.

He was a rather ordinary looking five-year-old cat except for the fact that he only had one eye. The shelter staff affectionately named him “Popeye” and he was instantly one of the feline favorites of everyone who worked there. He was affectionate and friendly, fun and easy-going. The perfect cat.

It didn’t take long before a woman requested to adopt him. She informed the shelter staff that she would soon be relocating to San Francisco, with Popeye in tow. Popeye and the woman settled in San Francisco and began their life together. But, it was short-lived. For unknown reasons, the woman left Popeye in the care of a cousin when she moved to Ohio to take a new job.

It’s not clear if Popeye, who was an indoor/outdoor cat, was abandoned or if he escaped from the home of the cousin he was placed with. But, when a young woman named Kelly found the distinctive cat wandering the streets of California, it was clear that he was in poor health.

Kelly said the cat showed obvious signs of pain and, therefore, took him to be evaluated at a local vet clinic. He was found to have an eye infection which, considering his limited eyesight to begin with, made the situation very dire for a cat on its own in the city. Popeye’s teeth were also rotting and the once full, furry coat was thinning on his malnourished frame. Upon examining Popeye, the vet discovered he was micro-chipped, which is how they were able to trace him back to Furkids in Georgia.

Since Popeye’s original home was over 2,400 miles away, they needed to get creative to bring Popeye home. A Furkids staff member, whose husband worked for an airline, was able to use a Buddy Pass to fly to California and back the same week that Kelly had found Popeye. So, within a week, Popeye went from roaming the streets of California, hungry and in pain, to once again being surrounded by the loving arms of people who cared for him.

Immediately upon Popeye’s arrival at Furkids, he was given the medical treatment he needed. He had twelve teeth removed (with only one remaining). He was put on medication to treat an upper-respiratory infection and his eye infection and he began on the road to recovery.

“Popeye is a true survivor,” said Lauren Frost of Furkids.

Thank goodness for micro-chips. If it weren’t for that technology, Popeye might never had made it back to the one place that had always made him feel loved and cared for.
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Monday, 6 October 2014

Never Doubt a Mother’s Love

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Scarlet Cat StoryThe sad fact is, there are a lot of cats that are feral. They roam city streets looking for food and are busy raising litters of kittens that many of us don’t even see until they become feral adult cats themselves. On March 30, 1996, a feral cat was taking care of her litter of five kittens just as she did every other day. She was living in Brooklyn, New York in an abandoned garage that was also an alleged crack house. It was a cold day and momma cat (named Scarlett) nestled closely with her litter, trying to keep them warm.

Soon a bystander noticed flames coming from the abandoned garage and made a call to 911. The New York City Fire Department responded to the call and quickly extinguished the fire. As they began the tedious clean-up process, one of the firemen, David Giannelli, noticed Scarlett carrying her kittens away from the garage one by one.

It was clear to David that Scarlett suffered from severe burns. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her one-soft coat highly singed. Most of her facial hair had been burnt away by the intense flames.

The most heart-wrenching moment came when bystanders noticed Scarlett touching each one of her kittens with her nose. Because the blisters on her eyes had taken her sight, she was essentially “counting” her babies to make sure they were all safely near her. It was at this point that poor Scarlett collapsed into unconsciousness.

The same firefighter that had first spotted Scarlett took her unconscious body, along with all of her kittens, to a nearby veterinary clinic. There, they received treatment for injuries they had suffered from the fire. Unfortunately, because they were feral, they had other health issues that needed to be treated as well. The smallest, weakest kitten in the litter suffered from a virus that the veterinarian was unable to treat. The poor creature ended up dying a month after the fire.

Fortunately, the ending was much happier for Scarlett and her remaining kittens. The staff at the vet clinic cared for the feline family for the next three months and every day they got healthier and happier. During the three months it took for Scarlett and her kittens to recover, the story of her loving heroics created a media sensation. By the time the feline family was well enough to be adopted in to their forever homes, the clinic had received over 7,000 letters offering to open their homes to Scarlett and her babies.

The clinic staff decided to divide the kittens into two pairs each pair was adopted in to their own special families in Long Island. Scarlett was adopted by a woman named Karen Wellen, a loving woman who had recently lost her longtime feline companion and was ready to open her home to a new cat. Though Scarlett required ongoing care as a result of her injuries, she lived happily with Karen for over twelve years before she passed away on October 11, 2008.

It’s true what they say. A mother’s love has no limits.

No matter what species it may be.
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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Saturday Morning Cats

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Let’s talk about cats, not a fat cat, not a cat in the hat
Not a black cat, not even cats that save you money on mouse traps
But let’s talk about funny cats and cools cats
Lazy cats and breaking the rules cats

Like this one cat I know is always in a riff
He hangs with some tough kits
Junk yard dirty and ready to throw mitts
Living in the middle of mischief… Yes! It’s my buddy Heathcliff

While the beatniks with Heathcliff are on a path to steal
Let’s talk about a lazy cat that goes bat crazy for his favorite meal
Odie outsmarting, jokester with banana peel
Slicker than his owner, so he screams, “GARFIELD!”

Loving lasagna not really fruits or berries
Opposite of my little buddy, party mouse Jerry
Jerry is cool, collected and calm
Not afraid to roll the dice and make a fool out of Tom

Tom isn’t really clever; he just can’t get it right
If he’s not tricked by Jerry he’s being chased by Spike
Or Jerry tricks Spike to make him chase Tom all night
Or Jerry tricks Tom to spite Spike then Tom gets a bite!

Sylvester and Felix even the Simpsons Snowball
Plenty of cats to name although I can’t name them all
But theirs one cat I love and to me tops them all
I’ll describe him in the next verse, then I’d like to hear your cat roll call

He’s cool with his walk
Sometimes cool to a fault
He’s the coolest cat you’ll ever meet, the coolest cat to never speak
As cool as shade and lemonade, you know, the kind that’s “PINK”

By now, I’m pretty sure you have the answer
It can only be one cat, that’s right! The Notorious Pink Panther
So we talked about cats with a smidge of a twist
Now who’s your favorite cat from the Saturday morning list

Simeon Russell
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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Tara: The Guardian Angel

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Just a few months ago, a video went viral on YouTube, receiving over 5 million hits. It was passed around frequently on Facebook and, chances are, many of you have seen it. It’s the clip of one brave cat, saving the boy it loved from a vicious dog attack.

Jeremy Triantafilo lives in California with his mom (Erica) and dad (Roger). It was a beautiful sunny day and four-year-old Jeremy was outside riding his bike on the sidewalk in front of his house. When he directed his bike back up the driveway, the next door neighbor’s dog came walking around a parked car. Without provocation of any kind, the dog simply tore into Jeremy’s leg, dragging him off the bike. As the dog begins aggressively shaking his head and pulling Jeremy down the driveway, the Triantafilo’s pet cat, Tara, comes seemingly out of now where and attacks the dog.

Tara the guardian angel

In the video, the dog seems truly taken by surprise and immediately releases Jeremy. But, Tara does not stop there. As the dog looks stunned and not quite sure what is happening, Tara takes off after the dog, not stopping until she chases it well past the parked car that is separating the dog from Jeremy. Only once she sees that the dog is truly gone does Tara dive back under the car to go check on Jeremy who is on the other side. By that time, Erica has come check on Jeremy. The entire incident took less than one minute and was, incredibly, captured in its entirety by surveillance cameras placed near the scene.

“It’s honestly just a blur,” Erica Triantafilo said. “I just remember hearing him and the next thing I know, I see my cat flying out of nowhere, on to this dog, and just remember trying to get my son and get the dog away and back in to its yard.”

It is like a parent’s worst nightmare; Seeing your child viciously attacked by an animal. And, altogether incredible that the family cat would be the one to save him. Tara was a stray cat the family adopted over six years ago. So, she had been in the Triantafilo’s lives before Jeremy was even born. She has looked over him since the day he was brought home from the hospital, quieting monitoring his every cry. Erica describes Tara as a “quiet” cat.

“Every once in a while she puts our dog back in to her place, but for the most part, she’s just the most mellow cat you’ve ever met,” Erica Triantafilo said. “All our boys love her and pick on her occasionally. She just loves them right back anyway.”

Though Jeremy received ten stitches for two lacerations to his calf from the dog’s attack, he was able to make a full recovery. He’s a happy, healthy kid running and playing around outside again.

And, Tara?

She’s still watching over him. Protecting him from any harm that might come his way.

Who needs a guardian angel when you have a guardian cat?
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