Thursday, April 29, 2010


Maxwell joins me pretty much every morning now as I ready myself for work in our bathroom. He can normally be found as he is above..........on the "bathmat" :)), relaxing thoroughly. More frequently than not, he's gone sound to sleep by the time I'm done and often remains there to continue on in kitty dreamland when I leave.

Does it get any more adorable than this? His still being with us is mainly due to his being black I feel. ALOT of people will not adopt black cats for superstitious reasons, and they are always the first to be euthanized in shelters because of just that - their coat colour.

How I wish I could take him on my journey's to work and back every day and show people what a darling, sweet, absolutely adorable little friend he would be. He's so easygoing and low maintenance - he is just the best.

Instead, I'll savour the moments like these morning's, when I have him all to myself and where I can have a front row seat in seeing him safe, happy and content - I only wish there was a way I could actually get as much relaxation time as he that would be wonderbar!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I have always loved orange cats. They don't have to be solid orange, the one's that are mixed with any type of white, I have always referred to lovingly as my "creamsicle kitties".
I may be dating myself here but there used to be these popsicle's that were hard orange on the outside and once bitten into, were filled with a lighter, white ice cream inside - thus a creamsicle..........and they were good!!

The two main orange cats that came into in our life since fostering began, are Chester (the handsome boy at the top whose gazing down from his favourite spot on our then kitchen cupboard), and Sawyer (in the bottom photo, who at the time this was shot, had just discovered the birds on my back deck).
We had lost Marty only several weeks before and were still grieving horribly. There was a small "shelter" (and I do use that word very loosely) being run out of a storefront just afew doors down from where we then lived. Chester had evidently been found in an apartment, abandonded when his owners moved away and left him - NICE.

I had found it painful enough to walk by since Marty's passing, and made a special point of actually turning my head the other way when I knew I was approaching. But this particular day it was a steamy July afternoon and as I began to pass the front of this place, my eyes looked in and I saw the saddest site. There was a full grown, large, orange/white cat stuffed into the tiniest cage I had ever seen. I went in immediately (I know, I know, it's always over the minute your feet take you in), and learned that this gorgeous 7 year old male had been left alone for almost 1 week in an apt that had been vacated by renters.........I guess they decided that he was packing they didn't need afterall. The cage he was crammed into gave him only enough room to squat - and he was terrified. There was no air conditioning in this place he now found himself in, and worse still, they had him in the front window, with the front door open and traffic as well people in loud abundance!
I don't remember if I even patted him, but I am positive that I was only 2 mins in that smelly, horrible place before I told them that I would be right back with a carrier and that he'd be coming home with me.

My husband was hot on my heels as we headed back down the street with carrier in tow, I paid the adoption fee, took the medical record and homeward bound we were. We renamed him Chester and although Miss Remy was furious, this boy was so grateful. At the time, he needed a home and I needed (although not realizing it right then and there), something to heal me from Marty's was a win-win.

We learned 6 weeks later that Chester had cardiomyapathy - a heart condition. Upon further testing it was determined that his was very serious - although he acted and appeared totally fine in every sense of the word, his heart was seriously damaged and the vet estimated that his lifespan would be cut very short as a result.
To say that we grew to love him would be an understatement, and true to form, he loved my husband. He slept with us every night, eventually got on the good side of Miss Remy (how I'll never know), and took his spot on the pillow next to her above Steve's head where Marty had once was love, love, love. He was also the little ambassador to all our fosters as we began volunteering - he was laid back, friendly and confidant, with a touch of sassyness thrown in (every orange male has to have it), everything you want in a resident cat.

After two years to almost the day he became a member of our family, I came home one wintery evening from work and found my husband in tears. Chester had gone into heart failure and was literally gasping for air. A rush trip to our vet quickly determined that he was suffering horribly, and in all likelihood would deteriorate over night. His prognosis was very grim and his current state very was then that we made the decision to bid him goodbye.

In contrast, the call came to help Sawyer from the previous rescue group we worked with. There was an older woman whose daughter could not keep him, and although an older male neighbour had agreed to let him stay with him, it wasn't working out.
The Saturday I picked Sawyer up, I didn't know what to expect. It was already known that he had had a rough start so I braced myself. We entered the elderly man's home and they called him.............what came barreling from the back of the house at full speed, with the cutest little pink collar around his neck and a tinkerbell dangling below, was the sweetest, friendliest, most adorable little cat I'd ever seen. He was a full grown male but at 5 years of age, he couldn't have weighed more than 6 or 7 Ibs.

It was quickly apparent after bringing Sawyer home, that he was not in good shape physically. It was decided that a trip to the vet was in order and so the appt was scheduled and off our little foster guy went.
The news however, turned out to be even more grim than it had been for Chester. Sawyer was also suffering from cardiomyapathy - sad as it was to hear. The only difference was that his was much more serious than Chester's because he was exhibiting physical signs of fatigue, shortness of breath, and open mouth breathing -all very bad signs. It was also discovered that he was FIV+ and since my boys were not known to be carrying that virus at the time, it was decided that Sawyer would have to be moved to a foster home or permanent home where he could be the only kitty or reside with others who were diagnosed with FIV as well.

Believe it or not, someone did step forward - a lovely lady who offered Sawyer a forever home for whatever time he had left. We were overjoyed, but also deeply saddened and the day that Sawyer left for transport to her home, I had myself a serious crying episode in having to accept the fact that he couldn't stay with us.

They loved Sawyer and he appeared to be his happy go lucky self, never missing a beat once the move was complete. Sawyer died very suddenly in his new Mommy's arms in their kitchen.............two weeks after becoming a member of their family.

Do I think that Chester & Sawyer were coincidences that entered my life? - absolutely not. Do I wish that I had done things differently to avoid the pain that came with losing them both so young and to such a horrible disease - never.

They were, are, and always will be, our creamsicle boys. We treasure their memories and remember them always, and yes, every Summer we try to have a "creamsicle" in their honour as we remember what happiness they brought to our lives.

Rest well my sweet ones............

Sunday, April 18, 2010


You've heard it said before I'm sure...........that ignorance is bliss. In the case of cats/kittens that are surrendered to shelters, abandoned on the streets, in empty houses/apartments, tossed aside and away like yesterday's newspaper, I can only pray that this is the way it is for all of them. That they aren't really aware of how awful their fate has suddenly become, that they don't really comprehend just how bleak their chances of "making it" are.

I was thinking about this this morning as I readied myself for Church and I came upon Maxwell (see photo above), in what has become one of his favourite sleeping spots - our linen cupboard. He snuggled down and settled in for his morning snooze after having a very tiring start to the day what with breakfast, a litterbox break, some loving time, a game of chase and finally.........floor hockey with his favourite stuffed mouse!

Maxwell has now been with us almost 6 weeks and as far as he's concerned, he's home. He has no idea that this is his refuge from the storms of life until his forever family finds him. He has no idea that the smells, sounds, routines, and roommates that he's become so familiar with, are only temporary, and that at some point, he'll yet again find himself "settling in".

It's at this point when I seriously wonder if I wish I could explain it to him or not. Would I want him (and other fosters just like him), to know that where they sleep and play and eat, are only for the interim, or would I rather protect them from that and have them believe (as I'm sure they do), that where they are is where they will always be?

This is only a stop on the road in life for Maxwell, and although I'm comforted in the fact that we could be there for him when he needed it the most, I can't help but watch him now as he saunters through our home as if he's always been here, and worry somewhat that the next move and set of changes (although forever in nature), will have him sad, frightened, and believing that he's once again been abandoned.

His forever home will be so happy with him once he finally is united with them(because he truly is a little treasure), and we will continue to love him until such time as they can find him, until then, he's completely happy and completely unaware...........

Monday, April 12, 2010


I'm always amazed at how cats can be alot like kids (in more ways than one). I'm referring specifically to the way in which they pick up on each other's habits, and suddenly, that which was one's habit or new found fun, suddenly becomes another's.

Case in point. The photo above (I know isn't it too cute) is Silly and Maxwell (our current foster), this morning, sharing the smallest of spaces, which in this particular instance, just happens to be our bath mat.

I bought this bath mat brand new once we moved into our home - to compliment the rest of the features in there. It just happen to be a coincidence that it matches our boy Silly's coat perfectly, and when he sprawls out on it (as he loves to every morning once it's put down for showers), he's resembling that perfect painting or cat postcard - too handsome for proper description. I have however tried (very unsuccessfully), to discourage him from laying on it because it's soft cream colour means that the least little bit of litterbox dirt or dust, or any type of "fluff" that Silly might have adorning his coat, is likely going to end up on it - and what was once clean and crisp looking; becomes dirty in appearance after he's had his lay in and decides to saunter off.

Well what's good enough for Silly seems to have also brought Maxwell around to the thinking, that it's also good enough for him! Not only has Maxwell taken to stealing time on the bathmat when the opportunity presents itself, but as this photo confirms, he seems to be of the mindset as well that he'll find room for his little derriere at the exact same time Silly has his turn - and then neither of them has the upper hand in enjoying something that the other is not!

All we would need now is for Stinkerboy to wobble into the bathroom during the course of one of these sit in's - and we'd have "sharing time" turned into "it's mine so clear out time". Rocky being MR. JEALOUS that he is, doesn't appear to have witnessed this display firsthand (the playing nice in the sandbox) as of yet which is just by sheer luck I'm sure, or he'd be sure to let everyone know that it's HIS bathmat, HIS bathroom, and that Silly is HIS roommate and HIS alone! *L*

People who say that cats aren't interesting or that they are aloof and no fun, really need to drop by our place. I don't refer to them as "our kids" simply because they live under the same roof.............they really do like to play and fight and mimic each other just like their human counterparts, and we won't even get into how smart they are!

Monday, April 5, 2010


I couldn't very well write about our darling little Rocky a.k.a. "Stinkerboy", and not also dedicate a page to our charming Sylvester or "Silly" as he's affectionately known at home.

This is him - this is probably one of my favorite photo's of him. My husband loves this one so much that I had it turned into a mousepad at Black's which we use in our home office. Silly was a foster that came to us after arriving at the shelter with a body harness on. At first we couldn't understand why when he had been so obviously loved by someone (and cared about enough to have a body harness on to ensure his not being lost), they wouldn't have come looking for him...........well, that was until we got to *know* Silly! (Which I mean in the most loving of ways)

This sweet boy has obviously been paid attention to in VERY ROUGH ways by a person or persons in the past. We also discovered that he has a very low threshold for "play" and if his temper gets the better of him, his spirit can turn from lovey kitty to wild cat in about ten seconds flat. Luckily for us, he gives all the signs of becoming too spirited (as we like to refer to it), long before he actually reacts, but if you choose to ignore them, or push that envelope too far, than watch out, because react he will. My husband's hands have looked like hamburger meat on countless occasions since Silly became a permanent member of our family (which has been about 4 years now), and only just recently, his door dashing techniques found him flying past us while we were in the midst of moving houses, and our efforts to retrieve him caused my husband to be seriously bitten and scratched - so much so, that antibiotics and a trip to the ER were required! (I did say he was sweet right?).

You may be wondering when you've read up to this point, why we decided to adopt him? and the answer lies in his ability to be just as loving, adorable and sweet as he is, headstrong, unpredictable, impatient and feisty.
We suspect that he too has been abused at some point and not treated very nicely, thus his short fuse and volatile nature at times. But in 4 years we have also witnessed an amazing transformation in this boy.
First off, he absolutely loves my husband - I mean LOVES HIM! When he gets ready for work in the morning's or needs to go out of the house for any reason, the saddest look comes across Silly's face and his demeanour completely changes the moment the door has been shut. All of my comforting techniques are completely lost on Silly when his Daddy isn't home, and he's the first one to come to barreling from another part of the house when he realizes that Dad is back! He's happiest when he can curl up beside my husband, and completely trusts him at this point, so much so that he'll go fast asleep and always does so, with one of his paws touching Daddy. My husband is also the only person that Silly will take discipline from (try as I might), it's his voice and his alone that commands Silly's attention and full respect - gotta just love that male bonding thing.

But most important of all, Silly is our Little Ambassador to every foster cat that arrives to stay with us. It's him that welcomes them first normally with non threatening gestures that can include a gentle meow, he who gives them plently of space to become familiar with their new surroundings, he who quite literally shows them all the new and fun aspects of coming to stay with us (including his toys), and he who is completely understanding and patient with them as they seem to gravitate toward (and take over), all of his favorite sleeping spots!
Silly is also very protective of Rocky if a new foster should exhibit any initital signs of wanting to dominate The King - he immediately puts himself between them and Rocky to ensure that everyone understands - there's no picking on the little guy with the wobbly walk.

Every foster home should be lucky enough to have a beautiful boy like Silly who can be their Ambassador and we are continually thankful that we have him in ours. It has helped tremendously to ease the stress and fear new fosters will oftentimes feel as they venture out into this new world known as our home, and it's always so heartwarming to watch as our handsome Silly with the smudge across his nose, finds room in his heart yet again, almost as if to say "Welcome, let me show you around".........

Friday, April 2, 2010


I can hardly contain my excitement as I type this! Moe has been SAVED!!!!!!!

He was finally rescued from the shelter yesterday and had a wonderful foster home waiting for him with a potential adopter also hot on their heels! That is just THE BEST NEWS! - nothing could make me happier right now than knowing that this little cutie patootie has his 2nd chance.

These amazing endings make all the worry, fretting and stress well worth it. This little guy is already enjoying the comforts of a warm, safe home and I'm smiling from ear to ear.

Yes, Mr. Rogers - it is indeed A WONDERFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!!!!! :) :) :)