Let’s Talk About Your Cat

Let's Talk About Your Cat, Cats, Kittens, cat stories, rescue, adoption, Purr and Roar,

Let’s Talk About Your Cat, one of my favorite posts, is back for 2019 and this time it features Media Director of the non-profit charity Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Toronto (or No Ivory Toronto) and full time Registered Early Childhood Educator for the YMCA in Pickering Ontario, Simi Vadgama. Simi took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her 3 beautiful mini house panthers and how they have changed her life.

Tell us about your cats and how they came into your life

Aragorn aka Aro is a big 5-year-old male who is independent, a little needy (when he is meowing for treats) and very intuitive – he know exactly how to comfort us when we’re sick or sad. Currently Aro lives with my parents and younger sister, about 8 minutes away from where I live with my fiancé Luis, so we visit quite often and arrange weekend play dates with him and our other adopted cats Luna and Stella. Aro loves to be around people, but when he’s alone we often find him cuddled up on the couch, rocking chair or on top of an air vent during the winter.

Growing up my sisters and I always wanted to have a cat companion but our parents would firmly express to us that they didn’t want any pets in the house. For some reason, when we asked them after returning from a trip to India where we had we gone to spread our grandfather’s ashes, they had changed their minds. My younger sister Keya, and my twin sister Siya went with my dad to a shelter where they met and adopted Aro who was just 8 weeks old, my family instantly fell in love with him! We found out that he had been rescued from a home where he had been abused – he had been kicked, frightened by loud noises and cruel people, so it took him a few weeks to adjust to his new surroundings once we got him home.

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Baby Aro “Aro’s adoption was a big learning experience for us because we’d never had any animals before – he truly changed our lives forever by bringing us closer together and making our family feel more complete.”

Aro was a great comfort to us all and he especially helped me while I was still grieving and struggling with the loss of my grandfather. My Mom always says he was a blessing to our family. We love him so much!

My fiancé Luis and I adopted Luna next in July 2018 from Pickering Animal Shelter. She was found in Cornwall and brought to the shelter during the wintertime where she had been for over a month, 8 other ginger/grey kittens who came in at the same time had all been adopted within a week. Luna has a dislocated joint on her front left paw which healed incorrectly and a missing claw, that in addition to the stigma of her being a black cat was very likely the reason she had not been adopted. I told Luis that we HAD to rescue her no matter what. So we adopted her and brought her to my parents house to meet Aro. They were both curious about each other but bonded pretty quickly which was amazing to observe.

Black Cats, Adopt don't shop, Cats are family

Aro and Luna when they first met

Black Cats, Adopt don't shop, Cats are family

“Luna lives with Luis and I at our condo. She is very quiet, relaxed, shy and loving. She’s also really independent, but likes to cuddle with Luis more!”

Finally there is Stella who we adopted in November 2018 from North Toronto Cat Rescue. She’s about 9 months old so she’s still a kitten and definitely acts like one – rambunctious, very curious and affectionate. It took Stella quite some time to adjust to her new home with Luna as she would hide and loud noises scared her. Stella didn’t like to be picked up at all and would run away when we’d try to come close to her which made me sad because I kept wondering what she’d gone through before she was found. I suspected her behavior was also due to the fact that she had just moved from being surrounded by kittens and playing with them at the rescue, to a completely new home with just one cat.

Black Cats, Adopt don't shop, Cats are family

Stella

Happily, after a few weeks Luna and Stella bonded, and we slowly gained her trust. Now Stella is always near us, constantly sniffing around and stealing our food – she loves to eat! She is also a hoarder and a little kleptomaniac! Luis and I often notice that items around the condo are missing, but we don’t have to look far to see where they are or guess who took them. Stella has stolen sandwiches from our plates, bread bags, makeup items – pretty much anything she can pick up with her teeth. She’s so entertaining!

Black Cats, Adopt don't shop, Cats are family

Luna and Stella Christmas 2018

She’s also a very floppy cat when she wants attention. She flops on the floor and waits for us to rub her and she is like jelly when we pick her up – she LOVES it.  We constantly thank the universe for bringing Luna and Stella into our lives and look forward to seeing them both from the moment we wake up to when we come home from work.

What is your first memory or experience with cats?

I was born and raised in England and lived there for the first 10 years of my life, we had neighbors who had cats and they would often visit our backyard and my sisters and I loved to play with them. We always wanted to adopt a cat growing up, and remember our dad telling us stories about the cat he used to have as his companion when he was growing up in Uganda, in East Africa. I think that’s why he loves cats just like we do. 

Anything else people should know?

I always tell people to adopt, not shop, when they’re looking to care for an animal and also to ignore the stigma around black cats because none of the nonsense and superstitions about them are true! Black cats are magnificent and equally as beautiful as any other cat out there. For those who live in Toronto and surrounding areas I would recommend North Toronto Cat RescuePickering Animal Shelter where we adopted Aro and the girls from, and Toronto Cat Rescue, another great no-kill charity.

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

Let’s Talk About Your Cat!

Let's Talk About Your Cat, Cats, Kittens, cat stories, rescue, adoption, Purr and Roar,

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

black cats, cat rescue, Cats in Toronto, Adopt dont Shop, Caturday, Cats Are Family, Little Lions, Cats of the Internet, Lets Talk About Your Cat, Purr and Roar, Caturday, Black cats are awesome, Toronto Cats, Adopt black cats, Cats as teachers,

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

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Black cats are beautiful, they are mini house panthers, sleek and mysterious. They hold a special place in the hearts of many including myself and Black Cat Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate all things black cat while helping dispell the negativity and myths that still surround them.

  • People believe black cats are unlucky, this is an old superstition that still exists
  • Black cats are often overlooked for adoption in shelters around the world and have a much harder time finding homes
  • Black cats have been linked to Witch Craft and became the unfortunate targets of cruelty throughout history because they were thought to posses supernatural or demonic powers. Today, during Halloween they can still become targets and most shelters do not adopt them out during this time

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Of course today we know better and most people realize that demonizing a cat because of their color is complete rubbish. So what about the benefits of adopting black cats?

  • They go with everything because black never goes out of style
  • They are like having tiny panthers running around your home and that’s pretty cool
  • In some cultures black cats are considered lucky! The Scottish believe a strange black cat’s arrival to the home signifies prosperity, while Pirates of the 19th century believed if a black cat walks towards you, it’s a sign of bad luck, but it’s good luck if it walks away from you. In the English Midlands, a black cat as a wedding present is thought to bring good luck to the bride!
  • Black cats have the ability to be just as sweet and loving as any other cat and make wonderful companions

 Black Cat Appreciation Day, Black Cats, black cats are awesome, love black cats, meow monday, black cats are good luck, respect black cats, black cat awareness day, adopt black cats, don't overlook black cats when adopting, house panthers, mini panthers, I love black cats

In honor of this day I went through some old photos, including the film kind, of my black cat Simon who I had to let go of 5 years ago this month. I still get sad and even teary eyed when I look at some of these and my one regret is the I didn’t have a digital camera or iPhone early on to capture more of him. Simon was an old soul, gentle and very loving, he loved and greeted everyone who came to our home. He always put Spinner and Cleo first when eating and loved to sit at the dinning room table during the holidays, this earned him the nickname gentleman Jim. Although he is gone he is never far from my mind or my heart.

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Simon, aka Gentleman Jim, at the dinner table during one Christmas. He always wanted to be near the action

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Simon in 2006 looking like the perfect house panther

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Simon in 2009 he loved to be in the sunlight on the coldest or hottest day

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Simon in the Winter of 2010

Simon – (1992 – 2010)

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Black Cats Orange Box

Cat sitting season has begun and this week I got to watch my favorite handsome black cat duo Bodie and JR. If you follow my Instagram feed you will often see pictures of my cat clients including these two. JR is quit memorable as he always has the look of shock on his face. Black cats orange box, one winner.

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Bodie chilling in the box

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JR photo bomb

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JR for the win, sorry Bodie

 

Feline Friday Volunteer Edition

These last couple of weeks while volunteering at the animal shelter I met a few cats that were exceptional superstars, having been rescued from hoarders or unsafe conditions.  Other than initial shyness or a distinguishing physical characteristic, upon meeting these gentle and affectionate cats one would never know they had come from less than ideal situations.

Sinatra and Ferdinand

cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt a cat, Adopt don't shop, cat rescue, Spay, neuter, Animal Shelters, Volunteering with cats, Giving Back, Snowshoe cats, Black and white cats

cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt a cat, Adopt don't shop, cat rescue, Spay, neuter, Animal Shelters, Volunteering with cats, Giving Back, Snowshoe cats, Black and white catsOld Blue Eyes Sinatra the sweet gentleman with a face to melt your heart

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Sinatra had an ear hematoma but is all healed up now and looking as handsome as ever!

Ferdinand, the type of cat that likes to get up close and personal cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt a cat, Adopt don't shop, cat rescue, Spay, neuter, Animal Shelters, Volunteering with cats, Giving Back, Snowshoe cats, Black and white cats

This newly arrived trio of cats are beyond sweet and ready for cuddles and cat piles.

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Sinatra and Ferdinand both have found homes but the trio of orange and black cats are newly available and will be up for adoption at Toronto Animal Services South Shelter this week.

Wordless Wednesday – Hump Day

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Wordless Wednesday Volunteer Edition

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Hermione ID#A632219

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Dolly ID #A690664

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Jerome ID #A693250

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Helen ID# A689040

All cats are available for adoption at Toronto Animal Services South region. For more adoptable cats be sure to follow me on Instagram