Don’t Touch That Mailbox!

cat looking out window above mailbox

My neighbor's calico cat makes sure her mail is delivered properly!

I often see my neighbor’s calico kitty looking out the windows of the enclosed front porch as I walk by on my way to Main Street. She’s truly a neighborhood guard cat! Finally the light was right on an overcast morning to catch her photo without glare on the glass, and it turns out to be one of the days when she’s guarding the mailbox, my favorite pose. I’d think twice before messing with her!

Of course, she probably has her buddy the serious brown dog, who I also often see in the porch, do her dirty work, as she seems like a true Queen Cat. I can just imagine her telling the dog, “Of with her head!” I’m on foot, I’d better get away while I can.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Amber Buttercup Bids a Cheery “Good Morning”

Orange and white cat on windowsill

Amber Buttercup greets the morning.

Amber Buttercup enjoys the early morning sun on her favorite windowsill in front of her highly-customized mini blind. You can see she is so pleased to see me with my stupid little black thing.

She may have actually been cheery until I showed up.

Can’t a lady have any privacy in her sunbathing? Can’t a princess address her realm without the riff-raff showing up to plead for some favor at her window?

But then again, when you are as lovely as Amber Buttercup, this is to be expected.

See more photos of Amber Buttercup, including a demonstration of what she usually does next when I show up!

See other cats in windows from my walks around the neighborhood, and other neighborhood cats.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Pink Rose Window Kitty

gray cat on windowsill with pink roses

Pink Rose Window Kitty, from my neighborhood.

Window Kitty!

I often see kitties in windows as I pass houses in my neighborhood on foot, on bicycle or in my car (am I a distracted driver? at least I pull over before I take the photo!).

I have to catch up on posting these photos, like this lovely solid gray kitty from last fall, keeping watch in the big picture window on the porch reflecting the fading pink roses by the railing, classic Venetian blind behind her.

I posted this on my Facebook page a few weeks back without realizing readers here might not find it there. Enjoy!

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Neighbor Kitty

tabbya nd white cat in window

The neighbor's kitty bird watching.

Another window kitty!The weather has been warm and the windows are open. Too bad for the photo the screen is in the window, he is really a handsome tabby and white kitty.

I saw this guy from my second-floor window in a property that is “kitty-corner” to mine. There’s a little unkempt area in the corner where the yards meet since they are rentals, and mine is a wildlife habitat, so it’s rife with birds and all sorts of other things that are waking up and ready to eat.

This particular four-unit building has always allowed pets, so I often see cats in the windows but can’t always catch them because there’s usually a bit of foliage between us . I’ll have to catch up with the photos I’ve taken.

See other window kitties from my walks around the neighborhood, and other neighborhood cats.

 

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Losing Apartment, 9 Cats Need Foster Homes

photos of four cats

Four of the cats who need a home, looks like Lily, Samantha, Jennifer and Toby.

A friend sent an e-mail over the weekend informing us of a friend of hers who had lost her job several months ago and is now losing her apartment. The nine cats she lovingly rescued will need homes by Friday, February 17—but only temporary foster homes because she intends to get back on her feet when she finds another job and take them all back into her home.

She is offering to pay all their expenses, and just asks that you keep them safe while she re-establishes herself.

I will note that I have fostered one or more cats for people in transition several times, and each time, once they got back into their own apartment, they came back for their cats. I tend to trust these people, and knowing their cats are safe and loved lets them work on finding new homes and new jobs without worrying about what would happen to their pets. You not only help the pet, you help the person as well—often, giving up a pet is the most difficult part of financial hardship, leading to depression and completely inhibiting any chance of rebuilding one’s life.

I had word today that three of the cats may have been placed, though I’m not sure which three that would be from this list. But it doesn’t matter, if you can foster one or more, just comment on this blog post and I will put you in touch with their person or one of the people helping her. I get the idea the mid-month eviction was a total surprise and they are looking for a home for her as well as her cats.

We are near Pittsburgh, in Western Pennsylvania.

photos of four cats

Four more of the cats who need homes, looks like Lily's kittens, marked with an (*) below.

Her note is below, as well as the descriptions of the cats, several of whom were rescued from near-death experiences.

I have 9 cats in need of temporary foster homes. The following is a brief history/physical description on the kids. All of them are in good health, strictly indoor kitties, no special needs/diets.

I will provide for food, litter and any vet needs. They just need safe shelter while I re-establish myself. I love them all very much, and would like to have them all back once I’m settled. They are important to [me], but their welfare comes first to me since…they are my only family left. Should they be placed, I hope it would be OK to either see them, or be updated on how they are.

Here are the kitties:

Jennifer — 14 y/o Black DSH, spayed female. She prefers quite places and people. She is also known as “Jettie.” She was rescued from Ft. Wayne, IN Animal Care/Control Death Row at approximately 2 years of age.

Samantha — 14 y/o Red Tabby DSH, spayed female, declawed. She is very active for a Senior, and does have a tendency to try to”escape” to the outdoors, but usually stops once she sees grass. She is very social with other cats and with people. She is also known as “Skeeter.” She was the stray that wouldn’t go away and was approximately 2 years of age when she came to us in Ohio (and was already declawed).

Lily — 6 y/o mottled Tortie DSH, spayed female. She also prefers quiet places and people, but does rule the roost. She was rescued from intentional drowning. She is also known as “Momma” since she gave birth to 5 kittens.

Toby — 5 y/o White with Red Tabby spots DSH, neutered male. He is pretty active,gets along with other cats and people. He is cautious on first meeting. He is also known as “Oby,” and rescued from the engine of a truck in Ohio at just a few weeks of age.

*William — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, neutered male. Very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Woobie” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Piet — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, neutered male. Very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Peeker”and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Juliana — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, spayed female. Friendly, but reserved, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. She is also known as “Pinkie” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Wilhelmina — 4 y/o Chocolate Sealpoint-looking DSH, spayed female. She is very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. She is also known as “Willa” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Beatrix — 4 y/o White/Red/Gray DSH, spayed female. Friendly, but reserved, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Beebee” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

photo of four cats

Four of the cats who need homes.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Guarding Their Castles

orange and white cat

The Creamsicle kitty.

As I walked for an errand through my neighborhood this afternoon I saw two of my neighbor’s cats guarding their castles: at the top of the steps to their front porches, right in front of the door.

And they matched the homes’ decor as well! The Creamsicle Kitty, above, coordinates beautifully with the white door (and white siding) to his home, plus the warm weathered boards of the porch with just a touch of cobalt as a complementary color.

Below, this lovely swirly marbled tabby boy sits atop his steps covered with carpet in his colors, in front of a dark wooden door fronted by a storm door with black wrought iron scrollwork doing a poor imitation of his stripes.

tabby cat on porch

The dark marbled tabby boy.

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


The Honor of Rescue

pawprint in ice with snow

Pawprint

The thermometer registered 14 degrees this morning as the sun finally rose on a frosty morning in my neighborhood.

And there were fresh feline pawprints in the light dusting of snow across the yard and up the steps to my deck along with prints embedded in the ice underneath. It could have been that tough tabby tom cat with the white paws who gets the Fantastic Four all upset when he trots through our yard—tom cats often seem immune to just about anything in the world around them with their single-minded intent and they seem impervious to life-threatening cold—or it could have been one of the other cats I’ve seen outdoors, some who I know belong to someone, others who might be stray, escaped, left behind, tossed outdoors. I’ve been monitoring the population in my little section of the neighborhood in the same way for the 21 years I’ve lived in this house.

Just a nice tabby cat sunning himself on the porch.

But one cat who is not outdoors on this brittle morning is Skeeter, who was the first cat I thought about as I felt the cold seep through two doors, and glad that though he lost his struggle to injury and infection, he hadn’t died alone and slowly freezing to death.

Did he know this was on its way when he came to my neighbor and friend Peg Bowman for assistance last weekend? Or had the abscess encircling his neck only become so intolerable that he would, in his own proud way, indicate that humans had some purpose in his life and that was to make him more comfortable?

Or had he perhaps remembered somewhere back in his dim past the love and affection of a human, someone who had chosen him and loved and petted him and sought that remembered comfort?

We rarely know the stories of stray cats who show up as if from nowhere, who may even come to our doors in their own way asking to share our company. A neighbor’s cat who likes your yard? A lost cat on its way home? An unintentional escapee trying to make its way in an unfamiliar world? A feral cat simply following the paths of other cats on its way to another food source?

We will never know how Skeeter came to be living outdoors as an intact male cat at the impressive age of at least eight to ten years, perhaps more. We know he wasn’t feral since he was too comfortable with the presence of humans and let Peg pet him after putting forward some objections and informing her he really was a rough, tough guy. But did he escape as a kitten before he was neutered, or was he intentionally not neutered as some cat owners choose not to do, was he simply not wanted in the first place, a little tabby kitten from an unintended litter foisted on someone who really wasn’t interested in the first place, thereby entering the stream of cats living outdoors to roam and reproduce?

cat in blanket

Skeeter after some pain meds.

Though we thought he had a chance of survival and we knew any recovery would be long and complicated, he came to us for human help, showed us he had a great will to live and we gave him the best we could. He in turn did the best he could, and though he died in surgery, his belly was full, he was hydrated and comfortable, had been treated gently and respectfully by the people around him, and he was already under anesthesia and felt no pain. Most important of all to us and, I think, to him, he was not outdoors, alone, in freezing rain, snow and brutal cold on his last days.

And apparently hundreds of other cat lovers felt the same as Peg and I circulated his story. We never doubted we were doing the right thing by Skeeter, and were sincerely heartened by the comments and even donations of others who supported our decision and helped with the costs of his medical care and were there with sincere condolences when we reported his death. I’ve always said that people who love animals are the best people in the world, and whether it’s an injured kitten or a battered tom cat they will give freely whatever support they can.

I’ve been rescuing cats for about 30 years, have had my share of cats approach me for help, seen my share of injuries and abuse and life and death. Peg is a long-time cat owner but somewhat new to rescue with her own two shelter cats indoors and at least one “porch cat”. She is already aware of cats in the neighborhood; when Skeeter showed up and she realized the extent of his injuries she didn’t question if she should do something only what was best to do for Skeeter. I am flattered that she called me and that I could be there to guide her and support her decisions. She’ll soon be volunteering with Animal Advocates in Pittsburgh; another cat rescuer in training.

And as she and I communicated on the phone, in e-mail, on Facebook and face to face on her porch and in the emergency clinic, we discussed not only his survival but also his death, and agreed that if treatment didn’t work, then walking the last part of life’s path and helping a living creature find a painless death was no less an honor than helping it live.

But the best part of rescuing cats is ending up sharing my life with my own rescues, those who’ve ended up staying with me, or should  I say more accurately “those who have come to rescue me”, and made my life the better for their love and taught me the importance of each individual cat.

So this crusty old tom cat, as was my impression of him, lived life on his own terms and is probably raising a lot of hackles with salty stories of life on the streets up there at the Rainbow Bridge, but I’m honored to have shared his last days and helped a friend give comfort to another living creature.

Other articles about Skeeter:

Skeeter’s Diagnosis

What’s the Matter?

Skeeter on Life With Cats

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Read other essays on The Creative Cat.

All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Skeeter’s Diagnosis

cat in blanket

Skeeter after some pain meds.

Injured stray cats come along sadly too often, and how do you decide what to do with a cat who is not yours, may even be someone else’s who wouldn’t want you to intervene in a situation, may cost a load of money and even be dangerous to you or your other animals?

The first decision is always in the animal’s best interest, and from there you simply do your best.

Skeeter has a good chance at survival and certainly has the will, but has a few strikes against his continued health aside from the ugly gaping wound on his neck. Here is his story.

cat with neck wound

Skeeter on the couch.

An injured cat who stinks

I received a call on Sunday from a friend who lives a few blocks away that she had an injured cat on her porch. We discussed the injury and possible treatment, and she was willing to undertake the effort and cost to take him to a 24-hour emergency hospital. He wasn’t wild though he was hissy and growly, but no swats, and likely wasn’t feral but was a stray who was hurting and hungry. He certainly enjoyed the food and water she kept on her porch for “Porch Cat”, though her own cats are indoors, and when she called he was sunning himself on the porch. Oh, and she mentioned a smell. Hmmm, sounds like an abscess to me.

cat with neck wound

Skeeter's wound from the side.

I told Peg I’d grab a carrier and be up in a bit.

And there he was, looking very handsome and relaxed on the red cover to the rattan loveseat. Then he turned his head and I saw the sticky and missing fur on the back of his neck. And then I smelled the smell of putrefaction and rotting flesh—nothing smells worse than an abscess. The wound looked like the typical outgrown-collar lesion, where the cat has either outgrown a collar or the collar has shrunk as some nylon ones will do, and actually cut into the skin, an open wound which then became infected, but this was the absolute worst I ever hope to see.

cat with neck wound

Skeeter's wound from the back.

Still, he didn’t seem to be particularly bothered by it, though he was bothered by our efforts to sneak up and throw a blanket over him, silly humans. I have no problem with and am quite skilled at suddenly scruffing a cat and dropping it into a pillowcase or carrier. I do have a problem when the cat basically has no scruff, as was the case with this cat. Even if I could have grabbed the loose skin on his upper back I was afraid the wound would break open and would not risk it.

I called Karen Sable for a little advice, and she suggested putting on heavy garments and gloves and trying to enclose him somewhere, carefully pick him up, even scruff him temporarily, and get him in a carrier. Nothing worked and he got away from us on Sunday, only to crawl under a neighbor’s porch and curl up in an unrolled portion of household insulation.

cat wrapped in blanket

Peg petting Skeeter's nose.

Caught!

No luck on Monday so we made arrangements with Karen to borrow a humane trap on Tuesday. But good news was first thing Peg e-mailed and called to say that the cat was in the carrier with the door shut, and she’d named him Skeeter! He had gone in there for comfort, she had closed the door. She said she’d even been able to pet him a little longer. Peg had appointments and had to put him in the garage, but we’d take him to the emergency hospital just after noon.

It’s really heartening when a stray cat who is ill or injured and has been acting hostile starts acting nice, or at least growling and hissing less. But I was concerned this meant something less positive, that the cat was actually beginning to fail and give in to his injuries, that he wasn’t weak enough to fight and he was willing to have a little comfort if it was his last. I’ve seen my share of crusty old tom cats who came in from the cold only to die from some injury, chronic illness or just old age. I didn’t know at the time this cat really was an old tom cat, but he was beginning to seem like it.

cat with neck wound

Skeeter with veterinary technician.

PVSEC, here we come

I refer to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Clinic, which is where I’ve always taken my cats or any other cat who is in need of emergency care; Peg and I had discussed our options on Sunday and felt this was the best though it would be expensive. We drove with the windows open so the smell wouldn’t saturate the car.

They took Skeeter back in the carrier as soon as we arrived, then a veterinary technician met with us to take notes. They had told us they would first do FIV and FeLV tests since he was a stray, and the vet tech told us that Skeeter was FIV positive. Peg and I briefly discussed if we should stop here and decided Skeeter had a strong will to live, and we should at least go on with an array of blood tests.

In a while Dr. Manhart, who was treating Skeeter, came to give us an initial diagnosis and treatment plan, and the information from exam and blood tests that would help us make decisions.

She said Skeeter was middle-aged, eight to nine years at least, that the wound was very old with scar tissue all around his neck, and he was also an intact male. There was not enough skin left to close up the wound, and the best they could do would be to stabilize him first, get him on antibiotics and rehydrate him, trim the skin in hope of “second intention” healing, where the wound is covered with various types of bandages and the edges of the wound heal toward the center and create scar tissue, much like a serious burn is healed; this has always reminded me of how trees grow bark over wounds to their trunk or cut away branches. He might also be septic, where the infection or a secondary infection spreads throughout the body.

veterinarian with cat

Dr. Manhart with Skeeter.

His blood test results were all out of whack, but that’s not unusual in a cat with a serious infection who’s in a lot of pain, hasn’t had much or anything to eat or drink for a while and was a little stressed at his current situation.

The FIV diagnosis gave us two hurdles: it would hamper his healing to a certain extent no matter what, and he would need to live in a home without other cats, or with other cats who were already FIV positive at least for a while.  The wound would take a long time to heal, someone would be physically handling care of the wound and there would be a certain amount of fluids emitting from the wound, and then his imperiled immunity with both FIV and an open wound put him at risk. Also, he may be nice with people, but he was also an unsocialized intact male and it would be a while before they neutered him, perhaps the first time he went under anesthetic for debridement, perhaps later. Until then, he could still act like an unneutered male, and they often continue to act like one even after neutered just out of habit.  We decided we’d work with that.

Then she pointed out his blood glucose: 376, unlikely to be a situational fluctuation, likely to be real diabetes, and in fact could be the reason he could have lived with the wound for so long yet it may have suddenly begun to abscess as diabetes developed. If it was, then it would be even more difficult for the wound to heal along with the FIV+, and would he be able to be poked with a needle twice daily?

A urinalysis, however, showed no glucose in his urine so it was not diabetes, though Dr. Manhart said that was possibly stress-related but was a much higher number than stress-related diabetes typically showed.

After reviewing a few other things—his spine was not affected, his kidneys were functioning, his liver values were a little high but that was probably due to his recent diet, he had few teeth left and those in bad shape, one of the reasons it was hard to guess his age—we decided to go ahead with treatment.

cat with neck wound

The wound today.

Treatment: stabilize him, then clean up his wound

So that’s what we decided to do. At every step we looked at each other and said, “You can’t save them all,” yet we remembered how he had shown up on Peg’s porch and to me seemed to be asking for help. Most important, he still had a will to live, and that is the deciding factor after all the blood tests and diagnoses—he wants to live, and that means that if he gets the support he needs and it is at all possible, he will live. So we will help him.

So far the low estimate, which Peg has already paid, is $670. The high estimate is a little over $900. Several people have already offered to help pay for his care, and she has set up a ChipIn for Skeeter the Cat for anyone who wants to donate to his care in any amount.

More important, a home that can care for him

Skeeter wants to live, not only could Peg and I see that, but so could the people who treated him, but he will need a special home, one that can accept an FIV+ cat and has the skills to care for him while his wound heals on its own. Can you take Skeeter, or do you know of a rescue organization that can help, or an individual rescuer? Any leads would be much appreciated!

Emergency animal hospital veterinarians and technicians

This cat was a mess and smelled like death, yet they all treated him with the utmost gentleness and respect. Not that I am surprised, and any animal deserves nothing less, but I’ve seen less and remember a day when we’d have been told to just put him down and his existence would have been waved away like so much trash. I’m glad that is changing. We may have met with that elsewhere, perhaps the emergency clinic sees things differently.

Thanks to Peg

And thanks to Peg and people like her who, when they can, will undertake the care for a cat like Skeeter.

Epilogue

Skeeter sadly failed under anesthesia with the first procedure; read Peg’s explanation in the comments below.

Also read What’s the Matter?

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Penny Has Been Adopted!

calico cat curled

Penny Sleeping, courtesy her rescuer

In a very roundabout way I heard the news this week that Penny, the calico cat rescued this past fall, was adopted from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society! But what’s truly important is that Penny is in a wonderful loving home, her adopters are excited to share their home with her, and her rescuer was surprisingly on hand when Penny was being adopted, on her first shift as a volunteer at WPHS.

Penny truly is an angel to have brought all this about. Here is the rest of the wonderful story of Penny.

A little background

Early Wednesday morning, January 4, Ingrid King forwarded a comment to me that had been posted on her profile of me from a few years ago from the people who had adopted Penny: “…My fiancée and I recently adopted Penny  (named after the phrase ‘pennies from heaven’), a beautiful calico cat.  We were told you’d written a story about Penny; the woman who’d brought her to the shelter gave us your name.” She added that it was difficult to find the article or many other things on The Creative Cat, which is how she ended up talking to Ingrid.

Thanks to Ingrid I could contact the woman through the comment, introduced myself and gave her the link to the article. I added, “I love to post updates to cats I’ve posted for adoption on The Creative Cat. All people are completely anonymous unless they wish otherwise. Would you mind telling me a few things about why you chose Penny, why you visited the WPHS and perhaps why cats are special enough for you to be taken into your home? If not, I’d never betray your privacy, I can just announce that Penny was adopted and a lot of people will cheer.”

From Penny’s rescuer

I also sent off an e-mail to the woman who rescued Penny saying that I was so glad to hear, not sure that she knew, though I knew that she had followed through with her promise to train as a volunteer at WPHS so she might be in the know. Better than that! She wrote back:

“I was at the shelter when Kitty got adopted. That was the first day volunteering and I was doing the laundry and was mentioning Kitty and one of the girls told me she was getting adopted right then. I rushed over to say goodbye to Penny….I don’t think she recognized me at first but then she got more playful and then I think she recognized me. The man and lady who adopted her said they already had a cat and it was not a lap cat and took more to the girlfriend than the man that owned her. He wanted a cat to sit on his lap. I think that is just what he got because Penny liked to be held and have her ears rubbed. She would fall asleep when you did that. I asked him why he picked her and he said she seemed friendly and came over to him. He looked at another calico but Penny seemed more friendly. He seemed like a really nice man and I was so happy that Penny got to be adopted that day….I told them about the story you wrote about Penny and I wrote down your name to look up your website. Do you know if they got to read the story about Penny? I have a copy and give it to friends when I talk about her. That was such a special story. We still miss Penny and talk about her but I am so happy for her that she got a home.”

And from her adopters

About three that afternoon I received a sweet e-mail from the adopters, “Read the story about Penny and loved it!  The attached file answers the questions you posed.  You may absolutely use our first names as well as any portion of the attachment.  Many thanks for all you do.” Attached to the e-mail was a story they’d written in answer to my questions! People don’t do that unless they are really smitten, and I would guess they are.

“Dear Bernadette,

“My fiancée and I have been cohabitating since our engagement last February.  Randy came into our relationship with two cats and I had one.  To keep the focus on Penny, our new addition, suffice it to say two of our three cats passed on.  We were down to Friskie, a healthy rambunctious striped cat whose favorite past time is shredding our toilet paper.  I had been whispering in Randy’s ear for a few months that Friskie was bored and needed a companion.  The day after Christmas Randy surprised me when he pulled into the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society (WPHS)!

“Friskie is a little over two years old.  We wanted a female cat of similar age who had been fixed.  Penny’s cage was positioned near the entrance to the cat enclave.  While the signs say NOT to stick your fingers in the cage, of course we did!  Penny was immediately responsive, gentle and Randy was already gone on his little girl.  Randy was extremely desirous of a ‘lap sitter’, something Friskie only does briefly.

“We liked two other cats but of those two, one was a boy ~ not meeting our criteria; the other was adopted out before we moved from the cage ~ believe it or not!

“We had some private time with Penny in the ‘quiet room’.  She seemed most content to sit on each of our laps and have her ears scratched.  The deal was done.  We wanted Penny.

“While we waited our turn to complete paperwork Randy and I met the woman who had brought Penny to the shelter.  It was her very first day volunteering at WPHS.  When the kindly woman saw we meant to adopt Penny she gave us all the background information you previously printed in your article “An Angel Named Penny” posted on December 1, 2011.  What are the odds?  We’d chosen a famous kitty who’d been published.  WOW!…

“Now, a few weeks after adoption, Penny is officially one of us.  Our Friskie is still shredding toilet paper if left within claws reach, but he does have a companion.  They are seldom out of each other’s sight; it’s too CUTE!

“Our only concern is that Penny sleeps an awful lot and is a bit thin.  Her appetite is unbelievably good so I expect she’ll thicken up in no time.  I’m not overly worried about her sleep habits either, but Randy almost obsesses on it.  I’ve explained that Penny’s had a rough go of it and to give her a few weeks.  And too, cats lean towards nocturnal.  I’ve seen her racing through the house with Friskie in the middle of the night when I’m getting up to use the bathroom or grab that 4 AM snack. 

“In closing, you had asked why we chose WPHS and why cats?  Randy and I are both animal lovers.  We love ALL animals.  A discussion about adopting a dog sporadically surfaces but our lifestyles aren’t conducive to dog ownership.  Dogs take a lot more effort, what with the walking, scooping and dependency issues.  We’ve both owned dogs in our past but are at a place in our lives where cats are the more desirable pet.  We’ve got a few cats and a few fish; that’s good for now.

“And as to why WPHS all I can say is why not?  We’re not about breeding pets or raising them up for ribbons and shows.  We just wanted an addition to the family.  We didn’t need a thorough bred or something with papers.  We had a ‘wants’ list, but mostly we wanted something warm, furry and cuddly.  We got it; we got Penny!

“Sincerely,

“Marsha & Randy”

I can’t say more than that…

…except to say that I’m glad I was a part of it. And I know this kind of magic happens every day, even without my intervention, at shelters all over the country. I am in tears thinking about how many happy endings are wound up in this one story!

Keep shelters on your donation list

western pennsylvania humane society logo

WPHS logo

While Penny was at WPHS, they spayed her and treated her for an upper respiratory infection, and of course they fed her and supplied litter for her personal use. This is not free, and the medical care can get expensive. WPHS is an open-door shelter, charged with accepting any animal brought to their door—a little over 14,000 cats and dogs last year.

Please make a donation to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to help support what they do for other cats and dogs all year round. I’ll give you a gift if you do: Visit my Friendraiser page for WPHS and order a dozen Feline Greetings cards in honor of Penny, and $10 of every purchase will be donated to WPHS. Use the link on the Friendraiser page to go to my Etsy shop, and make sure you enter the code WPHSPENNY in the notes section when you order!

If not WPHS, please support your local shelter in any way you can.

And if you are looking for an angel kitty, there are many more kitties who have stories as well. Adopt if you can, foster if not, or donate to your local shelter in time, goods or money this holiday season.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Joyeux Anniversaire à Mlle. Daisy!

black cat on bed

Mlle Daisy Marguerite on her antique wedding ring quilt. Is that a hint?

“Oh, ma dame la plus belle,
dal mio caro I desire for you to have
un buon compleanno,
 yes, joyeaux anniversaire
to my precious gemstone
my emerald-eyed goddess,
my ebony-furred French Canadian sweetheart,
I celebrate the day of your birth,
as if it were my own!”

That is my best operatic composition of a most heartfelt “happy birthday” to my everlasting love Mademoiselle Daisy Emerald Marguerite. Yes, my ever sweet and precious amour was born on this very day, the first day of the year, and I have been celebrating her existence by singing all day! What would my life be like this year if she had not sworn her love to me through the magic of computers and our visions in the stars! You can see how beautiful she is, my, dare I say, mature love? Yes, she has lived 12 years and all this she gives to me. I am but an inexperienced young cat and had no idea how small my world was when ma belle mademoiselle opened my eyes and my heart to a whole new world I never would have known otherwise, and oh, I must sing again!

O! dolci baci, o languide carezze,
mentr’io fremente le belle forme disciogliea dai veli!
Svanì per sempre il sogno mio d’amore.
L’ora è fuggita, e muoio disperato!
E muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita,
tanto la vita!

(Translation, from Puccini’s Tosca:

With sweetest kisses, tenderest caresses,
A thing of beauty, of matchless symmetry in form and feature!
My dream of love is now disspelled forever.
I lived uncaring and now I die despairing!
Alas I die despairing!
And never was life so dear to me, no never,
So dear, no never!)

Yes, ma chére, I sit by the big north window where I can see the whole sky and face the northwest where you live by the great river in the town named for kings in the great country of Canada and dream of singing right to you.

black cat looking out window

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight...

Giuseppe is singing to his French Canadian belle femme, Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite, whose birthday is indeed today. Giuseppe is, of course, a castrato and sings his arias and compositions in a melodic countertenor instead of the usual rich tenor, but he can improvise in operatic Italian, adding lyrics about her emerald eyes and ebony fur.

Then has again been much sighing as the darkness has fallen and he gazes once again out the window to the northwest toward the river town of Kingston in Ontario.

A very happy birthday to Mlle. Daisy, adopted from a shelter all those years ago to live with her mom, from not just Giuseppe but our entire household of black cats and tortie girls!

Read about the continuing long-distance affair of Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite and Giuseppe Verdi.

Giuseppe Mewses About Mlle. Marguerite

Or choose the category entitled “Mlle. Daisy Marguerite” in the menu on the right.

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To see more daily photos go to “Daily Images” in the menu and choose “All Photos” or any other category.

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.