Friday, November 28, 2008

About Eva

A few days ago, one of the shelter kitties named Eva was put down due to illness. There was kinda a sad twinge to the atmosphere when I worked at Good Mews the most recent time.

Eva was only at the shelter for a few months. She was abandoned with her sister, Erika, in September. She had diabetes and also a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is fatal if left untreated. She and Erika were placed in one of the Special Needs rooms, because of the dietary restrictions. (No Fentraphen for these guys!) I remember that we had to keep the water fountain in the room for Eva, because diabetic cats need a lot of water. When I was there last, I saw the fountain in the main shelter area. I'm glad other kitties are getting to enjoy it, but it did make me a little sad.

Erika I think will be moved to the main shelter, since she was in the Special Needs room to keep Eva company. We were instructed to give Erika lots of loving, as she is surely sad and lonely without her sister - and perhaps not really understanding where Eva went.

Good Mews is a no-kill shelter, but that doesn't mean they never put an animal down. They will never euthanize a healthy cat to make room for more cats. They will try to fight for the sick kitties, to get them better, even if it's a chronic condition (like Eva's). However, they also realize that sometimes the most humane thing is to put the kitty out of its pain and misery. It's sad, but sometimes it's better that way.

Rest in peace, Eva.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jeepers Peepers!

One of the cats in the shelter is named Tricky. A few years ago, poor Tricky got in the middle of a domestic dispute. Boyfriend was mad at Girlfriend, and shot Girlfriend's cats. Tricky was the only one who survived, but unfortunately did not escape unharmed. She got a bullet wedged in her body and is now her back two feet are paralyzed for the rest of her life. Don't feel bad for Tricky, though. She doesn't realize she's paralyzed. She has full use of her front two paws, and scoots herself all around the shelter.

You can immediately spot Tricky because she's wearing a diaper. She has no control of her excretory functions, so the diaper keeps her and the shelter clean and dry. I'd never seen a cat wearing a diaper before! At first I thought it was a baby diaper adapted for a cat, but then I discovered that they actually get them from a special website that sells diapers for animals. They are called Peepers. Here is a picture of a cat (not Tricky) wearing a diaper:

You can get the diapers at a site called (And, if you want to help out Tricky, just contact Good Mews for how to give them a donation of diapers for Tricky.)

I also read on the site that pet diapers can be used for housebreaking puppies. A-ha! I wish I'd known that. :-) Twould have been nice!!

Oh and something else Tricky likes - watching a DVD for cats on her pop up tv. It shows birds and squirrels, and for some reason she and the other cats just are mesmerized!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slinky cat

Courtesy of

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fun in the kitten room

Ah, kittens! I haven't gotten the opportunity to be around kittens in a long time. They sure are cute!

Good Mews has a separate room for their kittens. This week for the first time I had the pleasure of doing what needed to be done in that room. The kittens, however, do not see me as the person who is changing out their food and water bowls, or vacuuming and mopping the floor. No, they think I'm there to play with them!

I did take some time to play. But, I couldn't dawdle all day! As I was mopping, one kitten was intent on chasing the mop all the way around the room. He followed me as I went, attacking the mop head. It became a sort of game between the two of us.

At one point I bent over to mop underneath a bench. Another kitten jumped from a nearby cat tree to my back! That really surprised me and made me laugh. I wasn't sure what to do! I finally convinced him to jump off again, but he stuck close - he wanted his head scratched!

The adult cats on the other side of the big windows were jealous of all the fun we were having. They sat looking in, and when I came by with the mop, they crouched down as if they were going to pounce too. Such cutie pies! I hope that these kittens aren't in the shelter long, and are able to find permanent homes soon. ("Forever homes" as they are called.)

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Someday, it could happen

At Good Mews, they mark all the cats with microchips and use the scanners to verify that it's the correct cat before administering medication. I was watching the woman do this, and it reminded me of Jera and an article a friend sent me.

The article, from MSNBC, was about a cat coming back after being gone for 13 years. An excerpt:
A couple recently had an unexpected reunion with an old housemate: their pet cat who went missing more than 13 years ago. George, who was last seen by Melinda Merman and Frank Walburg in 1995, was turned into an animal hospital after the manager of a mobile home park trapped the sickly feline.

A microchip implanted in George allowed him to be traced back to his owners.

(The article also said that the cat weighed less than half of what it used to. Perhaps that's the best fat burner! Of course, I'll take putting Lewis on a diet over that method...)

My thoughts turned to Jera, wondering if that could happen to us. She does have a microchip implanted and even though I never expect to see her again, a tiny bit of me will always have that hope that she COULD come back. I'd love for her to come back. The more I ponder it, the more I realize that despite the frustrations that come with puppy ownership, Jera was really an amazing dog. And her disposition fit our family so well. It's funny that the dog who worked out for us was the one bought from a pet shop, while the one we did "right" and adopted from an ad on Craigslist was the one whose personality didn't really fit with our family.

I'm not advocating pet shops, of course, but I'm just sayin'...

Good Mews

Recently, I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend one morning a week volunteering at a local cat shelter called Good Mews. It's a cage-free no-kill shelter that is home to about 100 cats. I have done two shifts so far, and I've really enjoyed it.

You'll probably hear me talk about Good Mews a lot on this blog, so I'll try to describe the basics of how it works. I've never really had the chance to observe how an animal shelter is run, so this has been interesting to me. I'm on the clean and feed shift, which means that me and about 3 other people are in charge of cleaning the litter boxes, vacuuming and mopping the entire shelter, washing toys and bedding, washing and replenishing all the food and water dishes, and feeding each cat, in addition to other tasks. Other volunteers handle the medications for the cats that need that. There are two shifts every day of the year; I'm in the morning shift. All total, I was told there are 300 volunteers that keep Good Mews running!

Being cage-free, Good Mews is divided into rooms. The entire place is painted with bright, happy colors and has an overall pleasant feeling about it. There is the main shelter area, which is where most of the cats are. It has shelves where the cats can hide, several cat trees, benches, and even a TV with a DVD of squirrels and birds! (The cats seem to like it and that makes me smile.) There is a separate room for the kittens - it's closed off from the main shelters so any kittens 9 months and under are not at risk of being injured or catching diseases from older cats. There is also a separate room with cages for cats who are sick. This room is also separate from the shelter and once you enter this room and do any sort of cleaning, you aren't allowed to touch any of the other cats in the shelter again that day. New cats coming into the shelter go to a third separate room where they are kept in cages and observed for two weeks. There are other sections of the shelter, like the offices which just have computer desks and bookshelves, which I might talk about later.

I highly recommend volunteering at an animal shelter if you have the time! I think it's rewarding, and I do enjoy getting to play with the kitties! I was very overwhelmed at first by 100 cats not in cages running around! But the past two times I went I wasn't quite as overwhelmed and even have been able to play with the kitties. I'm still trying to learn their names and who they are so I can greet them by name when I come in to work every week.

Another thing I've learned is of the many things that can be donated to a shelter to help it functioned. One thing they are always in desperate need of is clumping kitty litter. I know how expensive kitty litter can be, and I can't imagine how much they go through each week! Perhaps I'll watch for sales and stock up in order to donate to Good Mews. Things to keep in mind. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If you needed a reason...

If you needed a reason to get a Roomba vacuum, here it is!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Craigslist ad

Someone sent me this link to a Craigslist ad this morning. Since Craigslist ads don't stay around forever, I'll copy-paste the text here. (The serious part of me wants to respond to this seriously, but since I'm not sure if it's a legit ad, then I'll treat it with the humor that the author intended. As a disclaimer: I did remove one line about catfighting because I don't think professional animal fighting of any kind is funny. You can read the original ad here.)

Ferocious Attack Kitten (Atlanta)

Ferocious attack kitten is available for adoption to any home willing to accept him.

This destructive kitty has been trained as a proud warrior and will fiercely defend your house, even against you. Well-trained since 10-weeks of age to attack anything in his presence, he will protect your family from evil things, including the following:

* insects
* other trained attack kittens
* babies
* toilet paper
* anything under a blanket
* unwanted house guests
* bathroom faucets
* paper bags
* floor rugs
* Chuck Norris
* Feet.

Great with children (assuming you don’t like the children). He is housebroken, but only because he wants to be. This attack cat has trained himself to seek out his food anywhere you hide it and rip the bag open to feed himself, great for those who travel extensively. Also trained to drink water out of toilet bowls and dishwater from items in the sink. Knows how to open some doors. He will find you wherever you hide.

Neutered (trust me, you wont want to him to procreate). Has not been declawed, but you'll figure that out really fast.

Understands and responds to a variety of vulgar and profane verbal commands. Has a very soft and furry belly, like a teddy bear - however he will bite your face if you try to touch it.

Willing to accept trades. Potential adopters must have experience with trained attack-kittens... please be prepared to show scars.

For the love of God, someone please take this thing out of my house.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

But he's so CUTE!

I really enjoy reading the comic strip For Better or For Worse, which I have been following for years. In the recent strips, they have acquired a little puppy.

This particular strip of the mom, Elly talking to a friend. Her friend is pointing out that a puppy is only going to give her more work and tie her down even more. Elly's response: "But, Connie... He's so CUTE!"

This made me laugh. I've been there. After having Jera, we swore we would never get another puppy. In fact, when we looked for a new dog, we started out by looking for an adult. I pursued several adult dogs before coming across an ad on Craigslist for a puppy. I fell in love... I knew in my head I didn't want to do the whole puppy thing again, but then when I saw her she was just so cute...

Of course, in my case it ended up being a negative thing. Zoey wasn't a bad dog at all, but she wasn't a good fit for our family. I hope to get a dog someday - after we get a house and a yard - and I won't let myself consider a puppy. I've learned my lesson!

But puppies sure are cute, aren't they?

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