A Special Needs Stray Needs a Special Home

orange kitty

Parker, a sweet stray kitty who needs a home!

From the time he was a kitten, Parker has had some neurological problems, really just amounting to a tremor in his head.

Problem is, Parker lives in a managed stray and feral colony, and according to the manager the area is not entirely safe since neighbors have been trapping cats and taking them to be euthanized. While they protect the colony from this, Parker is at special risk.

He was recently neutered and given basic veterinary care where the veterinarian said he may outgrow it, and in fact it seems to be getting better as he gets older. Being a stray they did not pursue the exact cause, but the colony manager doesn’t want to see him outside over winter because of his condition.

Parker is about a year old, is a sweet, friendly little guy who’s had all his vaccinations and will be FeLV tested if someone agrees to adopt him.

If you know of anyone who would be willing to give this little guy a home, please call Denise Charmillo on 412-421-7534.

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If you enjoy the articles, photos and artwork you find on The Creative Cat, please nominate me in the Petties 2011, Dogtime’s Pet Blog Awards. You can nominate for more than one category, but The Creative Cat seems to fit in the Best Designed Blog because there is no life without images, all those photos and artwork and visual ideas I love to share. You could also nominate me for Best Blog Post if there is a particular blog post you find memorable. I would send any award money to FosterCat for all they do in finding foster homes and permanent homes for cats who have no other chance. Here is the information you need for nomination:
Name: The Creative Cat
Nominee URL: https://portraitsofanimals.wordpress.com/
Nominee e-mail: bernadette@bernadette-k.com
Click here to go to Dogtime’s Petties 2011.


Riley

orange cat on wood floor

Riley

How’s this for a color-themed kitty? Riley is another rescue kitty I’ve met in the past few weeks. After an early life outdoors he now lives in a lovely remodeled home with three other rescued kitties, a few outdoor kitties who come to eat and take shelter, and two big-hearted humans.

More about Riley and his feline siblings—and his humans—a little later! In the meantime, enjoy his orangeness!


Animal Friends “Overwhelmed with Awesome Cats”

According to a report from Animal Friends, here are the types of awesome feline purrsonalities filling their shelter:

  • Lap cats
  • Feline comedians
  • Kid-friendly cats
  • Cats who like dogs
  • Cat-friendly cats
  • Beauty queens
  • Strong silent types (with an independent streak)
  • Spooners and snugglebugs
  • Charismatic cats
  • Shy sweethearts
  • Polite roommates (who will always greet you at the door)
  • Four-legged soul mates
  • Playmates
  • Confidants (who will never tell your secrets)

And not only are they awesome, but they are priceless, too! From June 1-30, Animal Friends is waiving our requested adoption donation for cats aged 2 and up with special deals on younger cats.

  • Felines aged 2 years and older: Priceless!
  • One or two felines aged 24 weeks-2 years: $75
  • One or two kittens aged 24 weeks and younger: $100

Each cat has been:

  • thoroughly examined by our medical staff
  • is current on all appropriate vaccinations
  • has been FIV and FeLeuk tested
  • has been spayed or neutered
  • is “microchipped,” or implanted with a small identification chip that can help to get him back home should he get lost

animal friends logoBefore meeting with a cat, you will be asked to fill out an application. Click here to apply online now!

Weekends at Animal Friends are bustling, but adoptions tend to be much slower on weekdays. If you’re able to visit us Monday through Friday, you’ll enjoy the quickest service!

And now the kitties can come to you—or at least to your computer. Sign up for Furry Fridays and you’ll receive an e-mail about an adoptable resident every Friday. Read and share with others who may be interested in adopting!

Animal Friends’ Priceless Cat promotion is made possible by a grant from Arm & Hammer.


Adopt a Cat, See BOYZ II MEN with the PSO

Not only is it Adopt-a-Cat Month but it’s also kitten season. The Western PA Humane Society is doing its best to keep cats moving and has a number of adoption deals on adult cats and kittens, but even better the Buncher Family Foundation is offering an incentive to everyone who adopts between now and June 23.

Kitten Season?

With summertime comes a baby boom, it is commonly called “kitten season,” and it means a population explosion that crowds the shelters around the United States and at the Western PA Humane Society.  Continual overcrowding of cats and kittens at the Western PA Humane Society North Shore Shelter and Fallen Timber location in Elizabeth will result in significant discounts for adopters on cats and kittens at the shelters until the cage space issues are alleviated.

“We are close to capacity and cats and kittens are still coming in,” says Lee Nesler, the Executive Director of the Western Pa Humane Society.  “Adopting all healthy adoptable felines is our goal we NEED to find foster and adoptive homes for these animals as quickly as possible to ensure that we have room for the new homeless pets coming in daily.  Since May 1we have been averaging 29 felines (cats and kittens) surrendered to the WPA Humane Society EVERY day.”

Here’s the deal:

ALL CATS over the age of 6 months may be adopted for NO COST to qualified adopters. 

Kittens are “adopt one, get one” at the reduced price of just $85.   

All cats and kittens adopted from the Western PA Humane Society are:

  • spayed or neutered
  • vaccinated with age appropriate vaccines
  • micro-chipped
  • feline leukemia tested

Visit the adoption page to see who’s available!

Here’s where BOYZ II MEN comes in!

Representatives of a local foundation heard about the overcapacity at the Western PA Humane Society and gave the shelter a gift of BOYZ II MEN/PSO Community Partners Tickets to help encourage adoptions.  Every person that adopts a kitten or a cat will be given two tickets to attend the Pittsburgh Symphony Concert June 23, 2011 at 7:30pm while supplies last, courtesy of the Buncher Family Foundation.

Interested in adopting?

Qualifed adopters :

  • complete a cat adopter survey·
  • adopting a cat (6 months or older)·
  • lease must clearly state cats are permitted (pet deposit paid if applicable)·
  • limit to two adoptions per household·
  • must have photo id with proof of residence·
  • fee waived adoptions limited to shelter locations only (petco/petsmart are excluded)

For anyone willing to adopt please talk with one of our adoption counselors about adding a beautiful new feline companion to the family.

You’ve got to visit the adoptables and see Cow and Piglet and Violet and Sugar!

Can’t adopt? Can you foster for a brief period of time?

If someone is willing to open their home temporarily as a foster home please contact the shelter at 412.321.4625×221 or on the website at www.wpahumane.org/foster.html

WPHS Serving Pittsburgh for 136 years

The Western PA Humane Society is one of the oldest Humane Society’s in the United States, serving Pittsburgh for 136 years.  The Western PA Humane Society is an “open door” shelter, meaning that they take all animals into their facility without a waiting list or a required fee (although the shelter does ask for a donation when animals are being released to their care.)  Last year the Western PA Humane Society took in almost 14,000 unwanted animals.

Shelters are located at 1101 Western Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233, 412-321-4625, and 1680 Fallen Timber Road, Elizabeth, PA 15037, 412-751-2010.

Visit the WPHS website at wpahumane.org.

For more information on Open Door Shelters please visit www.opendoorshelters.org.


Want a Good Deal on a Used Cat?

five black cats at basement door

We do many things together.

“Cats are like potato chips, it’s hard to have just one.”

Years ago, a friend of mine had a refrigerator magnet that read that phrase, and it still makes me laugh, and it’s still true.

More cats are owned as pets than any other pet—73 million as opposed to 68 million dogs—and I think it’s partly because of what I discovered. I had six cats plus fosters at the time, and there always seemed to be room for one more.

And unfortunately, there always seemed to be a big supply of cats to fill the need.

heart cats

Brother and Sister

Right now, in the middle of “kitten season” when shelters are overflowing with unexpected and unintended litters of kittens, it’s time to help take the burden off of shelters and foster families who have taken in cats and kittens to foster, so if you have room help to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month.

Read more about Adopt A Cat Month, co-sponsored by the Catalyst Council website, dedicated to helping the country’s most popular pet get the respect and health care they deserve, and American Humane, protecting children and animals since 1877.

Locally, Animal Friends is offering an adoption deal between June 1 and June 30: cats two years or older are priceless, and adopt two cats younger than two for the price of one! Animal Friends is a no-kill shelter, so adopting cats from them will open up more cage space for more cats.

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is also waiving adoption fees for adult cats and offering a two for one adoption special on kittens. The WPHS is taking in 50 to 60 cats and kittens each day and needs to find homes for cats every day in order to keep the flow of cats moving.

The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania always has adoption deals and plenty of cats for adoption.

cat for adoption

Allie is still waiting!

And all the foster families in of FosterCat would love to see their foster kitties in new homes and then be able to help other homeless kitties! Allie, at left, is still waiting for her forever home!

So if you’re not already overflowing with kitty love, fill that spot with a homeless kitty!


Ginger and Gilligan Were Adopted!

gilligan at animal protectors

Here's Gilligan...

ginger at animal protectors

...and here's Ginger!

I’m so happy to report that this brother and sister pair were adopted last week! Some lucky person took advantage of the discount when adopting two black cats.

You may have to be of a certain age to recognize their names…Gilligan and his sister, Ginger were returned from placement. They were both adopted as young kittens, then returned to the shelter.

bevis at animal protectors

Bevis looks really bored with shelter life.

Bevis is still available, though!

Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley is a small no-kill shelter in New Kensington, north of Pittsburgh.

But small doesn’t mean they aren’t full of cats during kitten season. While they’ve got creative special deals on feline adoptions and fosters all the time, they’ve got two special offers for Adopt a Cat Month.

At left, meet Bevis, domestic short hair, black male, neutered adult, “Bevis came to the shelter with a nasty infection (let’s just say it was under his tail). All healed now and looking good, this black cat is about as sweet and loving as you could want. Come in and meet Bevis.”

The Beauty of the Black Cat

Adopt one black cat or kitten and receive a $10 adoption discount.
Adopt a pair of black cats or kittens and receive a $25 adoption discount.

It’s Kitten Season!

Adopt one kitten and receive a $10 adoption discount.
Adopt a pair of kittens and receive a $25 adoption discount.

General Adoption Fees:
Cats under one year: $75
Cats over one year: $45

Please consider adopting a cat or kitten (or two!) during the month of June. See more cats for adoption at the website, www.animalprotectors.net and if you’re on Facebook, visit their FB page.

Adoption Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday: 6 p.m.to 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Remember to encourage spaying and neutering! This simple act saves lives! For more information on low cost spaying and neutering, please call the shelter at 724-339-7388.


Mr. Mistoffelees, The Forever Kitten

Mr Mistoffelees

Mr. Mistoffelees with his pink mouse.

He belongs to the world now, always a spunky tuxedo kitten with bright green eyes, big ears and black toes on his white boots. He should have had the good life we all want our cats to have, grown to a big cat, loved and cherished, and not dumped on a back road by careless, heartless owners to meet his end.

But I will do my best to see that he is not forgotten, and that his brief life makes a positive difference in the lives of other cats.

The Favorite Dumping Spot

Fifteen years ago this month I was driving home on a stretch of two-lane back road adjacent to a residential neighborhood near me. Suddenly in the shadows I saw what appeared to be leaves blowing around on the road and I slowed in automatic response.

The leaves slowed and regrouped and turned into a group of various-sized kittens before running to one side of the road and up a slight hill among the underbrush, one or two peeking back out at me.

Oh, no, how am I going to catch them all? I thought.

At least there wasn’t much traffic right then, though this road had been groomed as an access to a highway on-ramp and did get busy during rush hour. I was on a downhill slope with nowhere to pull over, so I simply pulled to one side and shut off my car.

I saw a box on the side of the road a little ahead, and knew immediately that someone had dumped kittens here. As I walked to the box I saw a bag of dry kitten food next to it—a Good Samaritan, or the person who had dumped them thinking they were giving them a nutritious head start? Looking into the box I saw one orange kitten who was not moving.

Looking back at the kittens who were running across the road again I saw two distinct sizes, two very orange ones about ten weeks and some tiny fuzzballs maybe six weeks old. All were very apparently terrified and had no idea what they were doing. Had one been hit and someone stopped to put it in the box? Or had it simply not made the move to the great outdoors? If I couldn’t catch them, how could I at least get these kittens away from the road?

As I watched I could see it was apparently two different litters, too close in age to have come from the same mother, of whom there was no trace. Was someone just doing some housecleaning and decided to get rid of the extra kittens in the garage?

I attempted to ingratiate myself, which I knew would be nearly impossible under the circumstances. Their fear would remain a barrier until I could simply be near them for a while and accustom them to my scent and sound and presence. I had, and have, chased many kittens, a totally useless endeavor because they are running for their lives, but sometimes it’s all you’ve got with no opportunity to sit quietly in the woods until they find they trust you. Hoping no cars came by, I walked toward them until they had scampered into the brush on the side of the road without the steep slope and began talking to them softly.

In time I may have won them over somewhat, but it was early evening and night would soon fall. I knew from experience that if I caught one I would never catch another. It was probably their first night away from their mother and in totally unfamiliar circumstances, and after a night in the woods they would likely be too wild to even find. Unfortunately they would probably keep coming out to the road because it was clear and the brush was so dense. I decided to run home and get a few more carriers and enlist my neighbor and her children, having them help me corral them.

In the end, before nightfall we only caught two orange boys, one older and one younger. In the process of dropping him into the carrier the older boy, although I had him scruffed, bit my left-hand knuckle so hard that a tooth became wedged between some parts in my knuckle and I had to unscruff him to pull it loose before I dropped him in the box, but I wasn’t going to let him go for anything.

I knew that the whole experience of chasing them, trying to corral them into fabric barriers and the kitten shrieking as he bit me had completely destroyed any trust the rest may have ever had in me, and I didn’t have a cage trap at the time. The other surviving older orange kitten was probably thinking I had killed his brother and put him in the plastic box and the two little ones were clearly following him. I had to go with what I had accomplished.

Arriving home, I settled the two into the recently vacated spare cat room and cleaned the puncture wound on my hand before I went to bed, but ended up spending the next evening in the emergency room getting IV antibiotics because I waited so long to get it treated.

Timmy the kitten

Timmy on the rocker.

Smudge and Timmy eventually learned to trust me, and big boy Smudge turned into quite the love bug with people he knew, remaining so in his new home, but little Timmy, quiet and polite, remained wary of people.

I still remember the tiny tuxedo and tortoiseshell kittens, whose round faces should have been full of curiosity and mock kitten aggression but were instead frozen masks of fear, as they disappeared into the darkness behind the orange boy. I never saw another trace of them; there was a storm that night, and without cover tiny kittens would likely have easily succumbed to exposure or an upper respiratory infection. I have seen cats or kittens there again through the years, but never successfully caught any, even with traps.

Still in Use

So last Friday as I drove down the same road I slowed and gave the area a good look as I always do when entering an area where I’ve seen or trapped cats or kittens. I saw a small shape on the road ahead of me, and even though my natural defenses tried to convince me it was not what I thought, I know that no other animal in our area is as solid black as a cat, or is the size and shape of a kitten lying on its side. Once you live with cats long enough, especially studying them to create artwork as I do, you recognize a cat even if you see only the tip of its tail disappear into the woods.

I slowed to stop, and indeed saw white paws, no mistaking this. No cars were coming but I didn’t care, I just didn’t want the kitten on the road, so I hopped out with a paper bag and ran up to him hoping he might only be injured and could be saved, but even though he was not badly damaged he had clearly crossed over. As I gently slid him into the bag I saw the black toes on his sweet white mittens and boots, the white belly and chin, a classic tuxedo cat, just about eight weeks old. I laid him in his bag on my back seat and tried not to think of him those last few moments of fear and pain he most likely suffered.

It must have just happened within the hour, and even though I knew this was a classic kitten dumping spot, and I’d hate to deliver bad news to a family, I looked around to see the closest house, but not that house nor any others showed anyone home. I would come back later. For now I needed to get home and hug all my cats. Sometimes when I’ve seen a companion animal hit along the road I’ll simply move it to the side so that if the owner is out looking they’ll find it, sad as that may be, but I had the feeling no one was looking for this kitten, and the brush came right to the side of the road anyway, so he was coming home with me.

No lost pet networks reported a lost tuxedo kitten, and only the next morning did I find someone who was home. She felt as badly as I did to hear the news and told me she’d recently seen what looked like a mama kitty and her baby on that section of the road, and though she didn’t remember what they looked like she wondered where they’d come from. She had two indoor cats and one small dog plus two children so other cats rarely came near her yard, but she often saw cats around.

In the heat of June I had limited time to continue searching, and decided just to take the kitten home. I had considered having him cremated at Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation and had called Deb the day before just to talk over the situation with a sympathetic ear.

I decided instead to bury him in my back yard in a safe place that wouldn’t be disturbed. Perhaps this was my unconscious inclination to “bury” the situation, and in a way it was to help rid my memory of the images and thoughts and while I engaged in a respectful burial to work out the new idea forming in my head. I got my tools and Cookie and we went out to the end of the yard; Cookie does not commit manual labor but was happy to supervise from the picnic table and provide moral support.

While I had looked around for a door to knock on the previous evening, I had been visualizing what the kitten had looked like, sketching a portrait in my mind. Images are always building in my visual consciousness, and even in those circumstances visualizing a sketch isn’t unusual, in part it was to keep myself from visualizing him being hit by the car. But from that process developed the idea of using this portrait, this image given to me at that moment when I accepted his condition, and giving him a name as I would have if I’d rescued him, and using this identity to help other kittens and cats avoid the same fate in some way.

Mr Mistoffelees

Mr. Mistoffelees with his pink mouse.

Mr. Mistoffelees, named for the clever character in T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, will always be a playful kitten, forever loved and cherished, ready to grab your ankle from behind the chair or tuck a toy into your pocket for you to find later in the day. And perhaps as the Original Conjuring Cat he can conjure homes for homeless kittens!

He represents all those homeless, unwanted kittens born to unspayed mother cats and who appear in the millions in shelters every summer during “kitten season”. Shelters are overburdened with homeless animals to begin with, then the influx of all these kittens forces them to drastic measures to handle only what they are permitted to manage.

All it takes is a spay or neuter, and if your cat does have kittens surrendering them to a shelter and spaying the mother instead of dumping them off somewhere to become someone else’s problem, and to likely die an untimely death. Mr. Mistoffelees reminds you to be responsible!

This is my first draft of the sketch, and no doubt I’ll be refining as time goes on. The sketch began in pencil, as are most of the simple sketches I have around my house of my current cats. But once I decided what Mr. Mistoffelees’ image might be used for I changed the style to make it simpler to reproduce. I used the simple line style in this version so that I can either cut a linoleum block print and fill the color areas with watercolor or I can create a three-color screen print.

Thanks for listening to the story. It will be a while before the sadness of it wears off for me, but I hope by giving Mr. Mistoffelees a new life I can see my way through to a somewhat happy ending.

Here is a page of links for low cost spaying and neutering in the Pittsburgh area and around the country.




A Black Cat Special for Adopt a Cat Month

bevis at animal protectors

Bevis looks really bored with shelter life.

Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, a small no-kill shelter in New Kensington, north of Pittsburgh.

But small doesn’t mean they aren’t full of cats during kitten season. While they’ve got creative special deals on feline adoptions and fosters all the time, they’ve got two special offers for Adopt a Cat Month.

At left, meet Bevis, domestic short hair, black male, neutered adult, “Bevis came to the shelter with a nasty infection (let’s just say it was under his tail). All healed now and looking good, this black cat is about as sweet and loving as you could want. Come in and meet Bevis.”

The Beauty of the Black Cat

Adopt one black cat or kitten and receive a $10 adoption discount.
Adopt a pair of black cats or kittens and receive a $25 adoption discount.

gilligan at animal protectors

Here's Gilligan...

ginger at animal protectors

...and here's Ginger!

Then how about this pair! You may have to be of a certain age to recognize their names…Gilligan and his sister, Ginger were returned from placement. They were both adopted as young kittens. Back at the shelter, they are missing the comforts of home. While not required, it would be nice to see them go home together.

It’s Kitten Season!

Adopt one kitten and receive a $10 adoption discount.
Adopt a pair of kittens and receive a $25 adoption discount.

General Adoption Fees:
Cats under one year: $75
Cats over one year: $45

Please consider adopting a cat or kitten (or two!) during the month of June. See more cats for adoption at the website, www.animalprotectors.net and if you’re on Facebook, visit their FB page.

Adoption Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday: 6 p.m.to 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Remember to encourage spaying and neutering! This simple act saves lives! For more information on low cost spaying and neutering, please call the shelter at 724-339-7388.


Want a Good Deal on a Used Cat?

five black cats at basement door

We do many things together.

“Cats are like potato chips, it’s hard to have just one.”

Years ago, a friend of mine had a refrigerator magnet that read that phrase, and it still makes me laugh, and it’s still true.

More cats are owned as pets than any other pet—73 million as opposed to 68 million dogs—and I think it’s partly because of what I discovered. I had six cats plus fosters at the time, and there always seemed to be room for one more.

And unfortunately, there always seemed to be a big supply of cats to fill the need.

heart cats

Brother and Sister

Right now, in the middle of “kitten season” when shelters are overflowing with unexpected and unintended litters of kittens, it’s time to help take the burden off of shelters and foster families who have taken in cats and kittens to foster, so if you have room help to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month.

Read more about Adopt A Cat Month, co-sponsored by the Catalyst Council website, dedicated to helping the country’s most popular pet get the respect and health care they deserve, and American Humane, protecting children and animals since 1877.

Locally, Animal Friends is offering an adoption deal between June 1 and June 30: adopt a cat for just $20.10! Animal Friends is a no-kill shelter, so adopting cats from them will open up more cage space for more cats.

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania also have adoption deals and plenty of cats for adoption.

image of tabby cat

Cleo is waiting for a home through FosterCat!

And all the foster families in of FosterCat would love to see their foster kitties in new homes and then be able to help other homeless kitties!

image of book cover

Buckley's Story

In addition, our friend Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat is asking for your adoption stories, and at the end of June the most touching story will win an autographed copy of Buckley’s Story!

So if you’re not already overflowing with kitty love, fill that spot with a homeless kitty!