Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 7/20

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Please Note,

The scurrilous accusations and statements made by the felines in this blog
are unfounded and downright libelous. No feline was denied kibble, wet food or treats during my absence. . Yes, we do not have air conditioing because it is rarely needed in this neck of the woods and the temperatures during my absence from home were in the low 80s. The comments in this blog are greatly exaggerated.. The felines were well cared for.
Signed:
The human

Hello Furiends,
Despite the notation The Human snuck into our post today The Tribe has decided to continue with the blog post we had originally planned and allow all of you to make a judgment on our veracity and the horrible conditions we had to endure while she was away.

Here are a few pages from our diary and some other thoughts from each of us as we suffered through the harsh conditions created by The Human’s five day dereliction of her duties. Oh, and there are our usual news items as well. Enjoy!

This cat keeping cool is everyone in Britain right now

We have heard that many of our furiends are suffering from high temperature and are thankful that things have been very comfortable in our neck of the woods.  We’ve heard that temperatures are the highest they’ve ever been in Britain and in order to find some amusement in the sweltering temperatures, many humans are sharing photos of their cats attempting to keep cool.

The RSPCA included some tips to keep cats safe in a heat wave:

  • Use a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin
  • Make sure they have shade
  • Give them constant access to fresh water
  • Put ice cubes in their water bowl
  • Give them damp towels to lie on

Junior the Coors Field Cat Gets a Forever Home, Furry Friend and New Name

It may be nice to be a famous baseball field cat but every cat needs a furever home. Junior, a cat born at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado now has his own humans and home and a new name as well. He is now known as Chip.

Chip was trapped in April when he was estimated to be 9 months old. Animal Rescue of the Rockies found a foster home. There was a concern that Chip might not take to people but that was short lived. When his new owner came to meet Chip he immediately demanded tummy rubs. A few days later, Chip walked into his new carrier and settled in for the trip to his new home.

In an Instagram post celebrating Chip’s adoption, his foster human shared that while he was being fostered, he made friends with the other cats in her care. In the montage, he can be seen cuddling with cats of all ages and helping kittens learn the ropes of being a cat.

Chip is now happy at his new home with his new name and a ginger brofur named Dale.

Chip is the only known surviving child of Socks, the original Coors Field Cat, who lives at the Colorado Rockies’ home stadium, according to KUSA-TV. Socks has her own Twitter account, where “she” celebrates her son’s adoption. The account is actually maintained by Shannon Hurd, a fan of the Rockies who also helps care for Socks. Socks has also been trapped and spayed by Animal Rescue of the Rockies, though she was too feral to tame, and still lives at the stadium.

A colony of feral cats has lived at Coors Field for decades, according to The Denver Post. And the cats don’t just interrupt ballgames in the most adorable way possible, they’re also known for helping keep the pest population down. Like the Rockies, the Coors Field clowder has its own fans.

Photographer Captures the Many Humorous Expressions of Cats

Photographer Elke Vogelsang, also known as “Wieselblitz,” is known for her photos of canines but now she has decided to venture into the world of felines.

Vogelsang is an admirer of cats as well as dogs and doesn’t understand the whole “cat vs dog” debate. Her new body of work features the expressions of felines.

She does admit that cats are more difficult to photograph than dogs but she still loves the process. She does have some tricks which were featured in an article by Colossal.

She will use a toy to get the cat’s attention and then press the trigger during that fraction of the second the toy is out of sight for the camera but the cat is still trying to catch it. She has many props that she uses to capture her amazing photos of the cats who model for her.

In Vogelsang’s studio shoots  which occur in the pet’s home, she builds trust bribes and catnip as a mood lifter. Hmmm, I must tell The Human to employ this tactic when attempting to photograph us. She keeps noise to a minimum and uses small leather strings attached to a stick that produce the sound of flapping bird wings. She says that every cat she photographs teaches her new tricks.

Cat reunited with owner 3 weeks after escaping kennel at Boston Logan Airport

I just love stories about felines reunited with their humans and this one about Rowdy is a great one. Rowdy, a four year old Bengal mix black cat, esaped from her kennel when her family arrived in Boston on a Lufthansa flight.  They were reunited on Saturday. Rowdy, who had evaded capture seemed to have decided she was done with the airport life and allowed herself to be caught by the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Rowdy’s human, Patty Sahli arrived in Boston late Friday night to be reunited with the feline.  She and her husband are moving back to the U.S. from Germany. According to Sahli, the door to Rowdy’s carrier fell open when baggage handlers went to grab her off the plane. “Her door fell open and she just saw a target of opportunity to get out and she wanted out,” Sahli said.

She wasn’t surprised that Rowdy had been spotted chasing mice as Rowdy has been an intrepid hunter all her life.

Rowdy’s human was not hopeful that Rowdy would be found but finding Rowdy and capturing her had become a community effort.

All kinds of humans, construction workers and airline staff were constantly on the lookout for Rowdy and the airport staff even put up a wildlife cameras in the area of the terminal where Rowdy had escaped. They also used safe traps. On Wednesday morning Rowdy sauntered into one of the safe traps and the rest is history.  She was taken to a vet, scanned and had a health check.

Rowdy will be heading to the rest of her family and her two furry feline siblings in Florida on Sunday. Her grateful human thanked everyone who asked what they could do to help and said they should support the Boston ARL and Charles River Alley Cats with donations.

Two beloved cats had to be rehomed, and their full-circle story is bringing people to tears

Furiends, you’re going to need a hanky for this story.

One of the saddest things to this feline is when humans shame other humans for having to rehome their kitty. There are many reasons why this might be done, our own Human suffered through this process and wrote about it in an article, When Forever Isn’t Forever. We have a wonderful program at our shelter called Home to Home that deals with this issue exclusively.

The Oregon animal hunger charity, through The Pongo Fund is doing this work as well. The organization shared a tale on its Facebook page of two felines, Penny and Lucy and the two women who loved these felines.

A lady asked the organization to rehome her cats ASAP. The cats were 12 years old and had lived with her for 10 years. The lady had cancer and decided she wanted to travel in the next year or two she had left to see family and friends and this would make it impossible to care for her cats. She didn’t want to let them go but with the clock ticking on her life, she had to make some hard decisions.

She adopted Penny and Lucy from The Pongo Fund a decade ago when Their previous human had world turned upside down. She’d lost her home and her marriage and had no place to live and didn’t know when she’d find one. She loved Penny and Lucy very much and asked The Pongo Fund to help her find a forever home for them.  Now, the wonderful woman who adopted those kitty friends ten years ago needed them to return the favor so someone else could give Penny and Lucy a good home.

She asked, if possible, that she could meet the potential adopter of her beloved felines. She wanted to give them all the cat’s toys and to let them know that sometimes Lucy got an upset tummy and how she would put Lucy on her lap, lay her on her back and rub her tummy it while she sang to her.

Her only request was that they stay together, these two sweet older girls who each had their own bed but most often ended up in the same one.

She wanted to make sure the organization and the potential adopter didn’t judge her harshly for what she was doing.  

Finding a home for two senior, bonded cats would be hard but they had one card to play.

They called a woman who used to live in the Portland area but moved away several years ago. She used to have two cats but needed to give them up when her life turned upside down. She now lived in a new state and had a great new life. Still, she always followed the Pongo Fund on Facebook and cheered them on. The Pongo Fund thought she’d be a great candidate to adopt Penny and Lucy, because ten years ago, she was the human who needed to let them go.

Over the years she had told the group that  if there was ever a cat needing a safe place to go, to please let her know.

Who would have known that she would be asked to take in the cats she had to let go ten years ago! She’d kept up with them and every now and then she’d receive an update on how they were doing. She didn’t want too much information, that was too hard, she said. But just to know they were safe and happy and most of all, that they were loved.

They called her and told her about the two cats who needed a home. During the course of the conversation as they described the cats and their situation to her, she began to cry. She knew they were talking about Penny and Lucy.  

A few days later she was in Portland. She met the cat’s former owner and the women hugged over their shared love of the two cats. One of them is back home with the two cats she didn’t think she’d ever see again and the other is traveling to family to spend the time she has left with them.

So my furiends, please don’t judge when someone has to rehome their kitty and, if you are able, please consider giving a kitty a furever home when their humans have to give them up.

Oliver Updates the Home to Home Kickstarter Program

Paws up humans for helping cats (and other animals) find furever homes all over the country! – Oliver

Hello Furiends,
You have all been so supportive of this innovative and wonderful program to help pets go from one home to another home and never have to spend a day in a shelter. The Home to Home program began at our local shelter and now they are looking to add every shelter around the country. The Female Human just got an update and it’s thanks to all of you that the program is in 22 shelters in 16 states!

On behalf of The Tribe (and The Female Human who is a staunch supporter of the program) we say “Fangs a lot” for your support!

Hello Home to Home™ Backers,

Thank you for believing in Home to Home™ and backing it with your pledge!

We’ve got BIG news. A national PR firm is sharing our campaign with news media outlets, bloggers, and other influencers across the country potentially reaching 81 million people! If a tiny percentage of them make a pledge, we could reach our goal! This would mean all backers (including you!) would get the swag that comes with your pledge!

Other BIG news is that since we launched, we’ve welcomed another 5 shelters to the Home to Home™ network. The program is now in 22 shelters in 16 states…and counting!

Wondering how you can help support this campaign? Share it with friends and family and help us reach our goal!

Questions about Kickstater? Click here. Questions about Home to Home™, click here to learn more.

Thanks for backing the Home to Home™ Kickstarter campaign and for sharing with others – we can’t do this without you.

The Home to Home™ Team

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