Cat Library

Borrowing a book from a library may not be high on many people’s list these days, but instead of a book what if you could borrow a kitten? How would you take out a kitten you ask? Well, there is a kitten librarian receptionist of course! This is an older story that I came across but worth sharing as it demonstrates a positive and innovative way to help homeless cats.

The Dona Ana County office building in Las Cruces, New Mexico installed a Kitty Kondo, what employees later renamed the cat library, in the lobby of their building where cats from the local animal shelter are made available for adoption. Animals considered less adoptable or special needs in a shelter environment, like cats that have been abused or have minor medical issues, are also given equal time in the Kitty Kondo. There is a great deal of exposure, perhaps more so than in the shelter, by having the cats in the center of a very public place with literally hundreds of people walking through the lobby daily. The end goal is to help reduce euthanasia, increase cat adoptions as well as educate the public about cats that need homes. The other winners in this are the employees who get free stress relief by being able to check out a cat for an hour to have at their desk while they work.

The kitty condo is 5 years old this May and with a 137 cat adoptions to date they have lots to celebrate. All work including socializing, cleaning and feeding is done by employees and, the cats come spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, checked for feline leukemia and heart worm all for a minor adoption fee of $50.

The program has attracted a lot of attention and has created interest in other governmental offices which means it’s only a matter of time before we see more programs like this pop up elsewhere – a win-win situation for all involved.

Build it and they will Climb

Some lucky cats in Pittsburgh are about to get the ultimate cat fort. The Epic Cat Fort which is planned to be completed in March this year, and housed in the formerly abandoned St. Clements Church and school in Tarentum, will be over “40 feet by 80 feet” and consist of connecting catwalks. The fort is only a temporary exhibit, but for a short time it will be every cats dream and serve the purpose of showcasing adoptable cats from Animal Friends, a local animal rescue league.

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Build it and they will climb – Image: Phillip Rhodes

Cat lover and creator, Phillip Rhodes, is looking for help from volunteers, artists and sponsors to help complete the project which is set to be unveiled on March 10. If you lack the technical skills don’t worry you can always sign up for litter box patrol!

The Epic Cat Fort is also an event for the community, but people are asked to leave their cats at home. For more details on the event and how you can get involved be sure to check out their site here.

Senior Cat Sunday

There have been many changes taking place at the Toronto Animal Services South location where I volunteer, I will be writing about this in a separate future post, cat adoptions have been on the increase and intake has been on the decrease. During the last few years this has also meant there have been less cats to socialize as the turn around time for adoptions has become much quicker.

While the younger cats, especially kittens, go faster older cats tend to still be overlooked which means in many cases they wait little longer to find homes. Cats have generally been considered to be a senior between 7 and 10 years but recently the different life stages have been revised, so a true senior cat can defined as being between the ages 11 to 14 years (geriatric is 15 plus). With the right care and attention which includes annual vet check ups, proper nutrition and exercise, they can live long active lives making them wonderful companions – and the best thing is you know exactly what your cats personality is like from the start!

If you follow me on Instagram I often post available cats for adoption from the shelter, but I felt a few of the older cats who have been there for a while deserve some extra focus. If you live in Toronto, or know people who do and are looking for a wonderful older cat, please share this with them.

Meet Baby Face a 7-year-old cat that really earns his name, he came in as an owner surrender and is very shy at first but, as soon as he gets to know you he is extremely sweet. He loves to stand on his hind legs and give you head butts or role over for a tummy rub. A very eager to love and be loved cat, Baby Face has been in the shelter since April 6, 2016.

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ID# 737950 – Baby Face is a gentle boy who is also good with other cats

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Mia is a part of the big and beautiful cat club, she is long-haired black cat that will need some help ensuring she stays focused on her diet and weight management. She came in as an owner surrender and is 8 years old. Her long hair will also need to be groomed on a regular basis to ensure she does not get mats, while she is tolerant of other cats she may be prefer to be your one and only. Mia has been at the shelter since April 16, 2016.

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ID # 489892 – Mia loves a cozy cat bed and to be the focus on your attention

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Finally Pumpkin, who is the oldest of the bunch at 11 years old is a lovely black and white cat. She is a quiet girl who loves to settle in a cozy space or a cat tower where she can hide out. This affectionate girl will bring a calm to your household and, while she can be tolerant of other cats, Pumpkin would prefer to have you all to yourself. Pumpkin has been at the shelter since April 22, 2016.

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ID # 740964 – Pumpkin’s very distinct markings add to her charm

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Generally cats from about 7 years and up will have a harder time finding homes, it is good to remember that just because they are labeled as ‘senior’ or ‘older’ it doesn’t mean they cannot live a long, healthy and active life. For some great tips on how to care for an older cat and help them get the best out of life, check out this great post by International Cat Care.

All cats listed above are available at Toronto Animal Services South Shelter, adoption is open to the public 7 days a week between 12-3pm.

New Ride

Cassidy the two-legged miracle cat has come a long way since being rescued last year by TinyKittens, a non-profit rescue located in Fort Langley, BC. He continues to get around in his custom-built wheelchair while receiving daily physical therapy in hopes that it will help make him a candidate for prosthetic legs one day. Recently Cassidy has changed it up by  enjoying a new ride, one that has become a favorite with internet cats and viewers.

Most kittens aren’t as lucky as Cassidy, which is why it is so important to help your friends, neighbors and co-workers understand how important it is to spay and neuter. Only 1 in 12 kittens born ever finds a home, and only 25% of kittens born to unowned cats will survive longer than 6 months. The rest will die from starvation, disease, predators or cruelty. Here’s more about our work with feral cats, and some of the shocking things we’re learning.” – TinyKittens.com/ferals

TinyKittens is doing amazing work to help cats including fostering, education, TNR, research, and Feral Cat Mapping. They are always looking for volunteers, foster parents or donations to help them continue to help cats like Cassidy. If you aren’t in a position to volunteer or donate you can be a voice for cats everywhere by simply sharing his story.

Let’s Talk About Your Cat!

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Let’s Talk About Your Cat is back and features two ‘little Lions’ from Toronto. Thanks to Kay for sharing her story and beautiful photos!

Q What are your cats/names/age/color/breed

K The last name of the boys is ‘Singh’ which is derived from the Sanskrit for “Lion”. It’s widely used in various parts of India and for my particular family ancestry it’s the last name given to males in the Sikh religion.

Sahib-Puppy Singh, or Sahib, is a 6-year-old domestic short hair. He is all black with some white spots and green eyes.

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Sahib-Puppy Singh means ‘Sir Puppy Lion’

Niku-Monster Singh, or Niku is a 4-year-old domestic short hair. He is also black with some white spots and yellow eyes.

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Niku-Monster Singh means ‘Little Monster Lion’

They are “Two Singhs from Toronto” aka Two Lions from Toronto!

Q Describe your cats personalities

K Sahib is my big boy, a conversationalist, a hide-n-seek player who likes to tell me how his day is going and what he wants and when he wants it. For example when its time for me to open the door and let him roam the building corridor and visit the neighbor or, when he would like dinner to be served. He also has a cuddle schedule whereby around 7:30pm each night he walks out of the bedroom and announces his arrival into the living room and proceeds to sit on my lap positioning himself such that his head is tucked into the crook of my left arm. During daylight savings it takes a few week to adjust his schedule to the new 7:30pm but it does happen. Sahib prefers to eat spider plants over cat grass and patiently waits for me to bring home each new spider plant for my coffee table or shelf decoration and then he requests it for his dietary enjoyment instead of my aesthetic needs.

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Sahib requests about 15 mins of a neck massage while he drools onto my arm. If I stop short of the 15 minutes he lifts his head up and lets me know we aren’t done with a short chirp.

K Niku is a funny little guy with a funny way of doing just about everything. He opens the door of the bedroom closet and hides when someone buzzes my apartment, he bathes his face and front paws in the water dish, he sleeps under blankets and in boxes, he stands up on his hind legs for tricks and treats, he chases reflections of light up and down walls and will go from restful nap to 60 mph in 2 seconds for the right bright light reflection.  Niku must sit inside every gym bag, suitcase, laundry basket, tote bag that enters and leaves my home. Although Niku prefers to not be lifted off the ground or picked up in general, he does like to always be near me and frequently sits next to me and extends one leg so his paw is lightly resting on my leg or shoulder or foot.  When its time for Niku-Monster’s cuddles it’s a fun performance, he comes over to me and puts his face into mine and I scratch his chin and cheeks and around his ears, then he stumbles away from me and goes to his big brother Sahib and gets some brotherly face grooming for a minute or two. Then he staggers back to me for more scratches around his neck and then back to his brother again for more. This goes on for a few minutes until eventually he topples over into a drunken stupor of purring and mouth breathing cuteness.

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Niku the vampire kitty his top canines stick out just a tiny bit and can be seen over his bottom lip when his mouth is fully closed.

Q How did your cats come into your life?

K Sahib was a feral cat from a rescue agency and Niku is from my next door neighbor. I did an enormous about of research before I adopted Sahib to ensure my lifestyle was suitable for a pet and also so I knew how to be prepared.  Everyone around me knew I was researching.  At my office my coworkers and bosses acknowledged my cat adoption alongside other employee family child births and child adoptions which was really fun and nice.

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Cat research!

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Sahib on adoption day

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First day meeting Niku

Q What is your first memory or experience with cats?

K I grew up on a farm and had a few cats as pets. Because it was farm life I wasn’t able to form much of a bond with them and was always afraid of getting scratched as a child.  Then in primary school I had friends with cats but unfortunately learned only negative superstitious ramblings about black cats. As an adult I learned from a Temple Grandin book that black cats actually tend to have the mildest and friendliest of temperaments among the domestic cat breeds. I cannot remember the exact details except there was some evolutionary theory behind it supported by black cat population patterns and domesticity research.

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Niku left, Sahib Right

Q Anything else people should know? 

K I held a birthday party for my cats one year which turned into the best indulgence for a cat owner. It was heaven for me, I designed all the games, and I used prizes and treats for the humans to keep them interested!

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Birthday celebrations an afternoon of cat talk, cat trivia and a cat slide show.

K Adopting cats and living with animals increased my already sensitive nature to a new level. I had to use more intuition and grow a sense of ‘felt knowing’ with my two cats to understand their needs and requests. I learned, adjusted and became even more aware of non verbal temperament and tonality not only in them, but also in the others around me. It’s hard to explain, some will understand this and others might laugh at it, but this is what happened and as a result I think much more deeply about the effects of my actions and behaviors because I’ve seen how little it takes to impact others in my environment.

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Sahib Top, Niku Bottom

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Sahib left, Niku right

Sahib the conversationalist, has a short discussion with mom 

If you would like to have your cat featured on Let’s Talk About Your Cat, contact me at purrandroar(at)gmail(dot)com

Lucky Number Six

When a black and white stray cat turned up in a southwest Edmonton neighborhood, concerned residents quickly called the local cat rescue and TNR group Little Cats Lost. Pauly, as he would be later named, was a stray cat with a very unique feature.

Lucky number six

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Pauly the six-legged cat

Pauly, who was estimated to be about seven years old, was discovered to have six legs, two of which were attached to his sternum. Little Cats Lost realized that he would need them removed and ran a fundraising campaign to pay for his surgery at Oxford Animal Hospital where he would be treated. The fundraiser, which raised nearly $4,500, more than double its $2,000 goal, covered the costs of two surgeries for Pauly and was helped by a donation from Edmonton’s International Cat Festival.

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Image – Pauly’s Journey Facebook

Dr. Tamer Mahmoud, owner and veterinarian of the clinic, examined Pauly and said his condition was very rare and that there were likely two kittens in utero, and Pauly had absorbed the other one.

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The surgery  lasted about 90 minutes and was performed by veterinarian Ignacio Tan. -Image  Edmonton Journal

Besides his extra legs Pauly also had hip dysplasia and what looked to be an extra kidney. The ‘kidney’ actually turned out to be another pair of testicles. Dr. Ignacio Tan did a lot of research and consulted specialists prior to performing the straightforward procedure which was made easier due to the fact the legs weren’t connected to other organs.

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Pauly’s xray – Image Pauly’s Journey on Facebook

Video of Pauly can be seen here

Pauly underwent the surgery at the end of August and is currently in a foster home where he is reported to be making progress and taking it easy. He has gone through quit an ordeal living that long with his impairment and being abandoned on the streets. Once he is fully recovered and rehabilitated he will be ready for adoption.

For more on Pauly, and to check out his progress, be sure to head over to Pauly’s Journey on Facebook.

Spinner’s Tail

My friends at Katzenworld invited me to do my first ever guest post on my cat Spinner. Please be sure to check it out their blog and my post including photos that I have not previously shared! Enjoy.

Thanks to Marc for allowing this opportunity to share with his community of cat lovers 🙂

Spinner’s Tail.