Let’s see, I’ve been back from Cat Camp NYC for a couple weeks and what did I learn? I learned that my once strong, Upstate New York blood that could handle cold weather in a heartbeat, has thinned so completely that I’m barely functional in freezing temperatures. I was so excited to be going to the city – I had visions of site-seeing, eating in trendy vegetarian restaurants with my cat-loving friends, and browsing in some of the quirky and quaint shops of the city. You know, like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City, only with cats, and no sex. Instead, I got bitter weather that was so debilitating I was nearly incapable of walking! Read more
Rescue and Advocacy
Editors Note: I was driving to a dental appointment yesterday, planning in my head the new post I was going to write for World Spay Day. When I got to the office, naturally I had to wait, so I opened up my phone to check my emails. It was then I saw the devastating news that a dear cat loving friend of mine, Darlene Arden, had succumbed to her long fight against ovarian cancer. Darlene was a huge advocate for cat care and she and I initially struck up a friendship as fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association back in 2012.
As time went on, our relationship took a unique turn. She turned me on to my most beloved, guilty pleasure – playing a game called Fairyland on Facebook. She warned me once I started the game that I’d become addicted and she was right! She and I had a ball growing our gardens and sharing conversations with one another that way.
She was also part of my most recent book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them. When I reached out to her to let her know I included her book The Complete Cat’s Meow – Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Your Cats as a resource in Makin’ Biscuits, I know that pleased her to no end. She didn’t always love social media but she did love Twitter and I was so honored that she tweeted to her followers that they needed to add Makin’ Biscuits to their library!
That was Darlene. She had a sharp wit and a sharp tongue. She was brutally honest and pulled no punches. She didn’t believe much in competition – her thought was simple – she wanted to help cats, so why not cross-promote the work of others? In her memory, I am sharing a post from last year that I wrote for World Spay Day. I’m just not capable of new words at the moment – I’m going to take a break and go play Fairyland while thinking of the times we shared together.
While every day is a good day to promote the virtues of spay/neuter – not only as a safe and humane means of reducing cat overpopulation – but as a procedure to help ensure your cat live a longer, happier, and healthy life, with today being World Spay Day, it makes it all the more relevant. It’s a concept I like to call “Spay it Forward,” meaning we need to put as much factual and useful information as we can into tiny, digestible sound-bites so it can easily be shared to educate and impact change. To aid in the effort, to follow are some basic 101’s of kittens, cats, conception, cat overpopulation, and how spay/neuter relates to it all. Read more
Editors Note: This post was originally published in 2015 for National Feral Cat Day. I chose to republish it because the importance of the message remains the same. This post was also selected as the 2016 winner of the Adopt a Shelter Cat Award sponsored by AdoptASheter.com at the Cat Writers’ Association annual communications contest and also inspired the award judge, Peggy Atkerson, Executive Director of BarnCats.org to sponsor a new awards category beginning next year in honor of feral cat awareness.
All of my seven cats come from different circumstances and each of them has a distinctly unique personality, but one thing is common to them all – I love them from the bottom of my heart and they are my life. They are indoor cats and if one of them ever accidentally got outside and was lost, I don’t know what I would do. Nor do I know what they would do. Could they manage on their own? It’s easy to say it will never happen – I’m neurotically careful – but even with the best of intentions, accidents can and do happen. With this being National Feral Cat Day, it makes the point even more relevant. Read more
Today is Remember Me Thursday™ – a global social event created to spread awareness on the beauty of pet adoption, to shine a light on all orphan pets still waiting in shelters for a home, and to honor the lost pets who ran out of time before they could find their forever home. The special day was created by Michael Arms, the President of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, in 2013. Read more
Many of us are excitedly waiting for season 4 of the wildly popular Netflix series, Orange is the New Black (OITNC). Based on the life of Piper Chapman, a woman in her 30’s living in New York City who is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security prison, the show gives us a glimmer into the day-to-day life she and her fellow inmates face in prison. I bring this up because it’s National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and it got me to thinking of all the cats that are in shelters across the county – not necessarily a prison – but for many cats, it’s a lockup of sorts. Read more