Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beans gets his new home

He looks happy, don't you think?

Tortellini's new home also checked in, and she's doing great. Now we just have to get Bounder a place of his own. His awfully lonely with just these stodgy old cats for company. It's a good thing Molly the dog plays with him.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beans gets a visitor.

A couple from Rochester is coming to visit Beans late this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed for him! Let's hope they can provide him with new amusement rides, if they don't have a wood carrier.

Yes, another change of color on the blog. I discovered that what looked like a nice calm deep burgundy on my screen(s) could be a real eye-bleeder on others. I'll mess around with a new template soon, since I need to change the banner from winter to summer anyway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some of you have been clamoring for a grown-up photo of Hope for two years now...

Here is Hope's baby photo And her mom, Faith, was just adopted this past winter.

Her pet-parent Cary is looking for a job and I snitched Hope's photo from there. So if you know of someone who is hiring, Cary is here on her professional web site.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Toxoplasmosis in cats. Not as common as anti-cat folk would have you believe?

Your morning science reading is here.

Vox Felina will gladly sum it up for you here.

I'll add a graphic later. My computer needs a re-start.

Bees in the family.

For some reason, the young men in my family are beekeepers. And I think it is the greatest thing.

My nephew Joshua began working with bees a number of years ago. I didn't realize my nephew-by-marriage Kagan in NH was also a beekeeper until he posted his Kickstarter fundraising program on Facebook.

Here's an article that I'm not sure everyone in my family has seen.

Of course, they are both so far away it's hard as hell for me to get my honey from them (I must stock up the next time I see Josh). Nonetheless, it's nice to think of family anytime I see a bee in my yard.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Firefighter saves...and adopts!...a cat from a fire

The story is here.

I always enjoy going over to Google Images and googling "firefighter cats" for photos of firefighters who have saved cats and other animals from fires.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I wish that we could say in the United States that we had a rescued shelter pet on guard at The White House.

Double sigh. Canada, too.

Returned "Luther" to the barn. More kitties to go...

The farm owners weren't home, so Tigger the house cat came back with me. At least Tigger uses the litterbox. Luther peed on top of his feral cat den and pooped inside it. In fact, not a single tiger/white cat from this barn will use a litterbox when caged. They all use their towels, which has made clean-up extremely unpleasant.

Lots more kitties to go. These cats still need to be caught.

The cows are always curious as to what I'm up to.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

And we're off!

"damned SoftPaws. why did you put these on me?"

Because you are going to your new home, Tortellini!

On animal shelters, tornadoes, and national groups

Tornadoes have once again swept across the midwest and south. I know we'd like to believe the increased disasters (along with our frighteningly snowless winter her in central NYS) are just a passing thing.

I think we need to get used to it. I expect we'll see more tornadoes here in NY this summer as well. That said, there are a number of groups who have stepped forward into the ever-increasing need for disaster relief. It is frightening how well-organized the response has had to become.

Leading the way is the ASPCA, who is already on-site in Taney County and Branson, MO. ASPCA has not one, but several, regional response teams.. IFAW also has a response trailer, co-funded by the Foundation. In addition, Petsmart Charities has their Emergency Relief Waggin. There are also countless regional and local County/Disaster Animal Response Teams (CARTS or DARTS) across the United States.

I'm sure I've missed a few and I'll plug them in as the day goes on.

National groups have been getting a lot of flack lately for stumping for donations by advertising that they "help shelter pets," as if they run a physical shelter network. However, in the area of disaster response, national groups have stepped up to the plate, and more will be needed of them in the future.

Hurricane Katrina was a huge wake-up call, where way too many "suits" from too many national groups were bumping into one another being inefficient. It was the first huge disaster that required organizations to work in close proximity, and even on top of one another. Even Petfinder, which is a "virtual" web-based adoption portal (for whom I work) sent staff to take photos of the pets in emergency shelters, because there simply wasn't anyone else to do it. There was no power, so there were no computers. Organizations who normally did not do this type of response found themselves in a whole new world.

After Katrina it became clear that national groups needed to train and trust competent field personnel to respond and run disaster response. National groups needed to be more willing to work together, to be able to cover the many disasters occurring sometimes simultaneously across the U.S.

I have been to several of the ASPCA training programs on disaster mitigation that they give for the sheltering community, and they are practical and excellent.

When donating to national groups, if you are uncertain where your money is going, feel free to earmark it for US disaster relief, and you can be fairly certain it's being used properly.

You can always feel comfortable clicking that little button on checkout for Petsmart Charities, and in giving to the Petco Foundation as well. Both of those charities are generous to the max, and their administrators are on the road responding or teaching, in addition to assessing needs and distributing funds. There are no slackers at either of those charities, I can assure you.

You can also sign up to get trained to be a part of your local CART/DART. Call your county government to be directed properly.

On Facebook, here is the link to a Tornado pets page to keep updated nationally on animal shelter/tornado impacts:

You can always give directly to shelters who have been impacted by a disaster. If you are the skeptical sort and want to be sure 100% of your money goes to supplies, gift cards to Walmart or Tractor Supply go a long, long way. If you are going to give a gift card, be as generous as you can. If someone has to go to a store, $100 makes the trip far more worthwhile than $25.

One sad heads-up when giving gift cards during disasters: make a phone call to be sure the store hasn't been flattened, too.

Inevitably I hear people say "How can you worry about animals when there are people who need help." I cannot say enough:


Look at the gentleman in the top photo. Don't you think he wants to be able to go somewhere, now, where both he and his dog will be accepted? Lacking that, don't you think he wants to know there is a place where his dog can temporarily be cared for? If his dog were missing, would he not be able to more easily concentrate on himself or his family if he knew there were others out there looking for lost pets, and an emergency shelter where he could check for his lost pet?

When cops and firemen are working the debris, don't you think they appreciate being able to hand off found kittens, cats, and dogs, not to mention cage-pets and other critters, off to animal services people, rather than having to figure out what to do with them while they are trying to help people?

Suck it up, "dissers". People who provide animal services are serving people, and communities as well, and people who give to those organizations are supporting disaster areas just as surely as people who give to human services.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Picking away at the farm cats

Two at a time:

It's bonus time at work, so I'm going to spring for a handful of new traps, because that's going to be the only way I'm going to get all these kids. Some are just too friendly and keep going in the traps.

Tortellini was adopted (again!). She will go to her new home this weekend.