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.

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

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.

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, Catruday, Black cats are awesome, Toronto Cats, Adopt black cats, Cats as teachers,

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.

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, Catruday, Black cats are awesome, Toronto Cats, Adopt black cats, Cats as teachers,

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.

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 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.

 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,

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.

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, Catruday, Black cats are awesome, Toronto Cats, Adopt black cats, Cats as teachers,

Cat research!

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 on adoption day

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,

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.

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,

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!

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, cats birthday, birthday cake

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.

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 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

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.

 

Follow The Leader

“Three abandoned cats being fostered  were discovered to be pregnant resulting in 13 more kittens. All were  later fixed and vaccinated all the kittens and then found loving homes for all of them!” Watch this adorable group of kittens follow the leader…

Manifesto For Cats

Cats are awesome and amazing creatures who hold us captive with their mystery and grace, always managing to leave us wondering what they are thinking. Throughout history they have either been worshiped or persecuted, and if you read the headlines it seems more of the latter is taking place. Thankfully there are many cat lovers speaking and standing up for them, making the world a better place for both owned and homeless cats.

The voice for cats just got a little louder thanks to Cats Protection the UK’s leading feline welfare charity who announced their Manifesto for Cats.

Manifesto for Cats, Cats, Kittens, Cat rescue, Kitten rescue, Homeless cats, Cat Abandonment, animal shelters, cat rescue league, Cats Protection, UK, Cats Protection Feline welfare League,  priorities designed to benefit cats, owners and society as a whole, tighter regulations on licensing air guns and banning use of snares, control breeding and sale of kittens by unscrupulous breeders,  prevent growing number of unwanted cats

“In this General Election year, 2015, we’ve launched our Manifesto for Cats and will be calling on the new Government to put in place measures to protect cats from abandonment, harm and neglect. After a three-month public consultation 93 per cent of participants agreed with all of our 10 suggested manifesto priorities which are designed to benefit cats, owners and society as a whole.”

Some of the key points of this Manifesto include:

  • Tighter regulation of licensing of air guns, banning the use of snares, both of which cause unimaginable pain and suffering to cats on a daily basis
  • Measures to control breeding and sale of kittens by unscrupulous breeders
  • Updating the Dangerous Dogs Act to allow prosecution of dog owners whose dogs
    attack, injure or kill cats
  • Inclusion of animal welfare in the National Curriculum so all children learn about
    responsible pet care
  • Government recognition of the needs of people with cats or other companion animals in rented housing and care homes to allow people to keep their pets
  • Government recognition of the benefits which cats and other companion animals
    bring to health and personal wellbeing when an individual’s care needs are assessed

Cats Protection put together a touching video where cat lovers share their personal stories and ask the policy makers to help bring about the long overdue and much-needed change to improve the welfare and lives of cats. Some of the people in the video recount how their own cats had been killed or injured in ways that this manifesto is trying to address, reduce and prevent.

If you live in the UK, or have friends there, please share and support this, for more click here

Cats Protection is pleased to be working with Government and to be presenting our first ever Manifesto for Cats. Delivery of the manifesto would improve the lives of thousands of cats and prevent them from harm.”

When Failure Is A Good Thing

Meet Pippi, he belongs to a friend of mine and is a rescue cat from Toronto Animal Services. I remember him from the shelter but this is the first time I have seen him since my friend fostered adopted him…and you know how the story goes. I recently watched him overnight while she was away and thought there must be lots of cats that go to homes as fosters and end up staying. If you are going to fail at something this would be it.

cats, resuce cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt Don't Shop, Foster cats, Grey white cats,

cats, resuce cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt Don't Shop, Foster cats, Grey white cats, spay cats, neuter cats, Cat are family,

cats, resuce cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt Don't Shop, Foster cats, Grey white cats, spay cats, neuter cats, Cat are family, Foster Failure

cats, resuce cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt Don't Shop, Foster cats, Grey white cats, spay cats, neuter cats, Cat are family, Foster Failure

cats, resuce cats, Toronto, Toronto Animal Services, Adopt Don't Shop, Foster cats, Grey white cats, spay cats, neuter cats, Cat are family, Foster Failure

If you can’t adopt please consider fostering a cat from your local animal shelter or rescue group. It’s a great alternative and if you do happen become a foster failure, don’t worry it’s a good thing 😉

DIY Weekend Project

With the extreme cold weather we have been having in Toronto I thought it would be helpful to share this DIY project by Animal Equity that helps outdoor cats. How to Make a low cost Heated Water Bowl is a great instructional video especially for anyone who manages a feral cat colony, has to deal with cold weather and the problem of freezing water. Along with food, the video highlights the importance of providing outdoor cats with fresh water even in the winter months.

Materials needed

  • DuroFoam insulation (38mm)
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Plastic water bowl
  • Hot water bottle
  • Gorilla or duct tape
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Ruler
  • Pen and paper

Cats, Toronto, Animal Equity, Stray cats, Feral Cats, Homeless Cats, Cat overpopulation, Cat Colony caretakers, Community helping cats, Education, Tutorials, Tips, How to Care for Feral Cats, EK founder of Animal Equity and co-director of Global Mind Body, Cat rescues, Animal Welfare services

Your guide to mindful animal welfare in the Greater Toronto Area. We are committed to cultivating peaceful co-existence with our animal companions and neighbours.”

Animal Equity has articles, a directory for animal related services in Toronto and online courses so be sure to visit their site to find out more on how to help homeless cats in your own community.