Who’ll Stop the Rain?

tortie cat on picnic table

Cookie's out in the early morning rain.

This walking in the rain stuff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The ground is all wet, the leaves are slippery, and there isn’t a spot of sun to sit in. But have you ever seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day?

tortie cat steps up on the bench

Walking in the rain is no fun.

I stepped up on my log and onto the picnic table bench and all the way up on the table, and it’s just wet everywhere. Really, I just can’t stand the rain. Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head, and it’s so dark, it’s just like a rainy night in Georgia. If the rain was purple, or if there was some fire to go with the rain, that might be kind of cool.

But this has to clear up, nothing last forever, even cold November rain.

All I want is to sit on my picnic table and look at the yard, and I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain? Not my mom. And I honestly think she’s putting words in my head because she’s singing in the rain and I just wish she’d stop! Now I’ll have these songs in my head all day!

tortie cat looking angry

Stop it with the songs AND the rain!




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Rescued Blue Needs a Home

cat for adoption

Blue needs a home.

April brought Blue in from the cold, but though he’s a wonderful, friendly, well-behaved kitty, her cats don’t care for him and she needs to find another home for him.

gray cat needs a home

Blue is a sweet kitty.

“This poor stray needs a home asap. All 3 of my own cats are attacking him, intimidating him and making his life more miserable than he was as a stray outside. He loves being part of a loving family and the comforts of a warm home. But for his own safety and lack of any other foster home, he will be moved to my unfinished 2nd floor … unfortunately, there is no heat up there.

I’m losing hope that he will ever find that special forever home. As animal lovers, I need advice on how to proceed. He will have a very poor quality of life in my cold attic alone. I have a toddler with special needs. What else can I do with this stray? I’m running out of time. Any advice on my options would be greatly appreciated.

He has a wonderful personality. He is laid back, gentle, extremely affectionate, tolerates kids very well, cuddly with everyone. He uses his litterbox. He’s an awesome cat. “

April has already taken him to the vet for an exam and shots, and Blue was neutered before she took him in. He’s ready for a good home. If you can adopt Blue, please contact April Williams, 412-841-6999 (cell), anf_redrider@yahoo.com. April and Blue are near Pittsburgh, PA.

For the Love of Our Animal Companions

photo of cabbage butterflies on asters

Many Asters

I met with Deb Chebatoris of Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation the other night, riding with her to a presentation as we discussed the evening’s event and upcoming work I’d be doing for her.

As always when I talk to Deb, our conversation is interrupted by phone calls. “I have to take this,” she says, so we pause while she takes the call. Normally, neither of us would interrupt a conversation whether business or social, but these calls are from families in need of her services, and if she’s awake and able to get to her phone, Deb will always answer their call and take the time to hear what they need.

I want to give her and her caller the privacy they deserve, which is difficult in the front seat of her HHR, but I can always drift off into my thoughts, remembering when I’ve been the family on the other end of the phone, calling because I knew Moses‘ passing was imminent and I wanted to be prepared, because it was suddenly Namir’s time and though I knew it would come I was absolutely distraught, or I had sat up all night with Peaches and been watching her process for days and could hardly talk I was so tired. When it was hard to believe Stanley’s incredibly long life was over, when I found it nearly impossible to leave Sophie, when Lucy still looked like a healthy active kitten, and when I couldn’t decide what to do with Cream’s cremains since she was still so obviously devoted to her owner though she’d died, Deb’s calm voice was on the other end of the phone, ready to listen and guide me. For all the times she calls for my business and we discuss website updates, press releases, and photographing new urns for blog and Facebook posts, the times when I need her business it’s surprising how easy it is to slip into these other roles where our relationships with our animals are the most important thing in life.

Too often it takes a tragedy to make change, and so it has been with the changing role with respecting the rights and needs of our animal companions, and our rights as those who care for them. Hurricane Katrina, where people simply would not leave their pets even though it could mean death or suffering, changed the way animals are treated in disaster response, ensuring that they can be rescued along with their humans, and emergency provisions are made for their care and welfare. Court cases where pets have been abused, stolen or killed have increasingly awarded incrementally greater punishment to the criminal and damages to the human who cared for the animal beyond “replacement cost”. And the public outcry around incidents like the escape of Jack the cat by the negligence of American Airlines in JFK airport, who though found two months later could not survive his deprivation and had to be put to sleep, will not doubt be the final push to treat animals as living creatures and not baggage by airlines.

Fewer people roll their eyes and make rude remarks about how we feel about our animal companions in life or in loss, and a service like Deb’s, a free-standing cremation and aftercare service specifically for animals, not an offshoot of a human service or a veterinary office, can thrive as if people had been waiting for it all along. And a number of us were waiting for it; I know I was. I’m also glad to see the evolution of respect for animals in our society, and respect for our relationships with them and the bonds we form with each of the individual animals in our lives.