The Litter-Ary Cat introducing Mollie Hunt

photos of Mollie Hunt crazy cat mystery booksWhen we sent the feline human to #BlogPaws in May she had a mission, to obtain signed copies of books from her fellow members of the Cat Writer Association to decorate her table and donate to the auction for our local shelter, The Panhandle Animal Shelter’s annual fund raiser, Hodge Podge at The Lodge. Well those cat writers are generous people and we felt it important to highlight each author who generously donated to our cause.

A note of explanation about the event. Humans sponsor and decorate a table at the event and then invite their human friends to come and bid on auction items and even the tables. Our human is doing a “Litter-Ary Cat table, complete with signed copies of cat books (thanks to the generosity of the human’s fellow Cat Writer’s Association members, cat wines, catnip cigars, cat bookends and other cat-themed library stuff.  The human will post pictures after the August 29th event.

I was purrrrticularily excited to learn about Mollie Hunt’s books as she writes a series of cat mysteries and we love mysteries, especially when cats are involved! Mollie generously donated a copy of each of her books in the Crazy Cat Lady series , Cat’s Eyes, Copy Cats and Cat Paw.  Mollie’s books feature a heroine, Lynley Cannon who is a cat shelter volunteer and a woman who manages to get tangled in dicey situations. And, the thread that runs through this book series is, of course cats!

Mollie has written other wonderful cat-related books and pieces and she received the prestigious Muse Award in the Health and General Care Blog Category for her blog post, “Life Stages” at this year’s Cat Writer’s Association conference. You can wander on over to her blog and see what Mollie is up to.

The female human enjoyed meeting Mollie and she and The Tribe of Five are very grateful for her contribution to our fund raiser so that we can help shelter kitties in our community find furever homes.

Until my next Litter-Ary feline book review from the other generous authors, grab your copy of Mollie’s books and enjoy.

Until next time, your friend,

AlHead

Alberto

National Kitten Day, July 10, 2017

siamese kitten and black and white kitten celebrate national kitten day

It’s time to celebrate National Kitten Day!  We came from our local shelter, Panhandle Animal Shelter as did our sister Lily. Tucker and Jasmine were rescue kittens from a private rescue in California.  Get out and celebrate National Kitten Day and see if your shelter is running a special this month on cat adoptions…ours is!

img_2432

Oh, and here’s a shot of us today.

Purrs & Head Bonks,
Alberto & Oliver

Alberto Reports From BlogPaws -The Litter-Ary Cat, Part 1-Deborah Barnes

Al_PressBoxWithRetroMikeHello Folks,
Alberto here, your intrepid (albeit tardy) on the scene BlogPaws reporter. So the female human attended a conference for professional pet bloggers and writers and not only did she have a great time, she managed to connect with some of the best cat writers there. And these wonderful humans graciously donated signed books for her to use at her table at our local Panhandle Animal Shelter fundraiser in August.

I’m going to feature each one of these talented (and generous authors) and their books. Today’s featured author is Deborah Barnes.

Deborah Barnes is an award winning author and all around great cat lady. Her book Devborah Barnes book Makin Buscuits“Makin ‘ Biscuits” was a multi award winner this year, receiving a Muse Award, The Good News for Pets Human Animal Bond Award and the CWA (Cat Writer’s President’s Award.  This book is a delightful look at “Weird Cat Habits and Even Weirder Habits of The Humans Who Love Them”. It’s a compilation that personal anecdotes from Deborah and cat lovers around the world. If you want a “me too” moment or want to know a little more about felines and the crazy people who love them, you will love this book.

As if this award-winning signed book wasn’t enough of a generous donation, Deborah donated two other signed copies of her books, , Purr Prints of the Heart and The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey. 

PurrPrintsOfTheHeartPurr Prints of the Heart is a memoir written from the viewpoint of a feline named Mr. Jazz. Mr. Jazz reflects on his life from kitten to old age and offers comfort to all who have dealt with the loss of a beloved pet.

The third generous donation from Deborah Barnes is her book, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary. This book tells a beautiful tale of the chronicles of Zee and Zoey book by Deborah Barneshow two cats bond together and how they fulfill and enrich the life of their human. Through her willingness to be transparent and to share how some of her biggest hurdles in life were made easier through the love and relationship she enjoyed with these two marvelous felines.

Not only is Deborah Barnes an excellent author, she’s a very nice human and the female human enjoyed getting to know her at BlogPaws.

I urge you to hightail it to your favorite book seller and buy these books and, if you are lucky enough to live in Sandpoint, Idaho, you can attend the Hodgepodge at the Lodge fund raiser for the Panhandle Animal Shelter and bid on the table the female human is putting together which will not only have amazing books (I’ll be highlighting all the authors who graciously donated signed books in the next few blog posts) but will feature many other fun things for the feline library theme.

Your BlogPaws on the scene reporter Alberto, signing off for now.

img_1067

 

 

 

Amelia’s Story-Part 3

Judgments Made
It was about a week after Amelia was at the shelter that I saw a Facebook post that sent me into a tailspin. There was that beautiful Tabby face that I loved and a story of a “heartless

AmeliaYells+_Flowers

Amelia being silly

person who adopted her and callously brought her back to the shelter”. The write up said, “I thought I had a forever home…”

My throat closed up, tears flowed and I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut. I had enough guilt as it was. I had done everything I could to help Amelia find her perfect home and yet, I trusted that with the letter I wrote, the shelter would write that she was a wonderful, loving feline who would do best in a one cat family.

Misunderstandings Resolved
Fortunately I know the folks at the shelter and I often volunteer there. I sent an email to the shelter director and received an immediate call back. To make a long story short, the individual who posted the information about Amelia had not read the letter I sent, nor did they have any of the backstory. They had fallen in love with Amelia and went into “protector mode” making an erroneous judgment about her return.

I fully understand the passion and compassion of the wonderful folks at our shelter and I didn’t want to know who wrote the post, I just wanted to ensure that Amelia’s story was known so that the chances of finding her a suitable forever home were increased.

Our shelter director (one of the best in the country) is passionate in her stance that people should not judge these situations without all the facts.  She was wonderful and the situation was sorted in the best manner for Amelia.

Happy Endings
It was several weeks later that I learned that Amelia had been adopted. I felt as though a ten ton weight had been taken away from my chest. I cried (again) but this time they were tears of thankfulness and joy.

The Emotional After Effects
I cannot tell you the emotional baggage that comes with returning an animal to the

IllieKitten_1

Oliver

shelter. Last summer we fostered two kittens and when we decided we wanted to bring

AlKitten_1

Alberto

them into our home, it was hard filling out the forms and checking
the box that asks, “Have you ever returned an animal to the shelter?” Even though I know and work with the folks at our shelter
even though we received nothing but love and encouragement from the shelter,  I still felt like a pariah, a horrible person who didn’t deserve to adopt cats-ever.

Lesson Learned: The Shelter is Your Friend
I pray that no one ever finds themselves in the same situation we had with Amelia. If you do, and have employed every resource available, think of your shelter as your ally, not your enemy. I mentioned that we have a top class shelter and I do not exaggerate.  I would never have taken Amelia back to the shelter if they were not a “no-kill” facility and if they weren’t dedicated to see animals in their care find appropriate forever homes.  At the end of the day, it’s about the animal and any fear or pride or anguish we felt in the decision to return her was for her best interest and the best interest of our fur kids at home.

I am pleased to tell you that our shelter has recently implemented a program called “Home to Home” and it’s specific purpose is to give people who can no longer keep their pets the opportunity to find new, loving homes without having to drop pets off at the shelter. Pets go from one home into another.  Had this been in place when we had Amelia, I could have been a part of helping her find a new home.

Lesson Learned: Closure is Important
That brings me to another point.  Although I am thrilled that Amelia has a new home, I have no idea where she went. I don’t know if her new family received the letter and health records I sent with her. I will never rid myself completely of the sadness of losing Amelia but I believe, had I known where she went and that she’s happy I could completely put those feelings to rest.

Final Thoughts
As you can see, the happy ending I promised did happen. We still miss Amelia but I choose to believe she is happy and enjoying her new home. We still deal with the repercussions of

JazCloseUp_LR

Jasmine

that experience. Jasmine has not fully integrated back into the household but having the kittens come and “visit” her has helped resocialize her. We are also working regularly to bring Lily together with Jasmine.

I will be doing the happy dance the day we open the bedroom door and Jasmine struts down the hallway and enjoys the company of the other felines and all the places she used to love to sit and sleep and play.

Amelia’s story changed us.  Before we fostered, we felt we didn’t have the right to adopt anymore and the fear of finding ourselves in another “Amelia” situation terrified us. I still continue to assess what happened with Amelia, watching episodes of “My Cat From Hell” and wondering, “Would that have worked with Amelia?, Should we have done that with Amelia?” I doubt I’ll ever stop trying to figure out what happened and how we might have been able to fix it and keep Amelia in our home.

I wanted to tell you Amelia’s story because I know we are not the only people who have found ourselves in this painful situation. I wanted to tell you Amelia’s story to offer hope to those who have been or will be in our situation. Returning an animal to the shelter does not make you a horrible person, nor does it make the animal horrible. Returning an animal to the shelter is a “dirty little secret” that many are afraid to share. In fact, some shelters and rescue organizations will not allow you adopt if you have ever returned an animal. All too often, people are too quick to judge and censure those in these situations. Granted, there are far too many people who treat animals like possessions, tossing them away when they “don’t fit, people who are not willing to invest the time, money and heart it takes to help an animal fit into their household. But for those of us who have moved heaven and earth to keep an animal in our homes, we beat ourselves up enough, we don’t need any help.

imageWe bring animals into our homes with the intent of offering them love and a forever home.  Love isn’t always enough and forever isn’t always forever. Despite the heartache of Amelia’s story, we believe that the journey of love and adoption of an animal is a risk we will always be willing to take.

 

Follow Up To Amelia’s Story

Helping Lost Pets the Modern Way

Hello Folks,
IMG_3782Lily here. I was sitting on the upstairs deck (safely) enjoying nature and feeling reflective. I’ve been watching the female human as she and her sister have been working on a project for about a year now that helps humans reunite pets with their people in our community.

We live in a place where there are predators (I”m not sure exactly what these are but I do know they are scary and the main reason why the humans do not let us outside without protection and supervision. It’s a dangerous place for lost dogs and cats so finding them quickly and getting them home quickly is important.

The strange thing is that the human doesn’t go outside to search under bushes and trees and along mountainsides. She (and many other humans) do this by pounding on their computer keys and sitting in front of their iPads and tablets.

Now I am a cat of many talents but I must say I don’t understand all this “social media” BoCoCritterFndrs_Logostuff but what I do know is that they have been able to help many pets in our community and assist our local Panhandle Animal Shelter. I have a bit of an issue with the name…they call it Bonner County Critter Finders. Critters? How about Fantastic Felines and Distinguished Dogs? Oh well, despite my issues with the name, I think they’re doing a good thing and I hope you have something like this in your community. And, if you don’t, I’m sure the female human would be happy to let you know how she got started.

Your Friend,
LilySignature.