You are here


Foster Cat Journal: The Spirits are Among Us...I Just Hope Not When I'm in the Bathroom.

Yesterday was a very strange day for me that was punctuated by the passing of the Big Maine Coon. Before I even heard about Big Boy, the theme of the day was death.

Cinnie minnie_sm.jpg
©2010 Ryan C. Feminella. After such a sad day yesterday, it seems fitting to be reminded of some of the rescues that had happier endings. Cinnie-Minnie (Cinnamon).

I got up early and drove to Milford. I had a meeting with a client about some new projects. She owns a beauty products company that caters to the overseas market. We went to High School together and met at our Reunion a few years ago. She's a very sweet person, but I can't say I know her very well.

I arrived at her office before she did. She called a few minutes later, apologizing for being late, that I wouldn't believe where she had just been. I was worried something happened to one of her family members-a trip to the hospital? Was she in Jail? Did she just help a woman deliver her baby at a rest stop?

When she got out of her car, she had a strange look on her face. Before we could even exchange a “hello,” she said; “I saw a Psychic Medium!”

She proceeded to tell me about her Mother, who died four years ago, who she misses so deeply that she's in physical pain about it. Through a twist of fate, she learned about this woman with special abilities to talk to the dead. In hope of getting a message from her Mother, she decided to give it a chance. This poor woman was in so much pain over the loss, she felt it was her only chance to know if her Mother was still there.

Before she told me about her reading, she talked about her Mother. I got a creepy feeling as she spoke. I started to realize that maybe I needed to be in this meeting, not to talk about work, but to talk about our lives. As she spoke, I realized that her Mother and my own had many similarities. Was I going to get a message from beyond, as well? Or did I, already?

She told me that the Medium said her Mother wanted to give her proof that she was there, so she said “Tell her the name, Victor.” My friend was shocked. Victor was her very first intern who spent many hours in the office with my friend and her Mother. When my friend got married, Victor was there. The three of them had a special connection, but it's not something many people would know about-and certainly not a stranger. Then the Medium said; “Your mother is holding a tea cup and talking about the round table.” My friend and her mom always sat at their round kitchen table and had tea-that's how they discussed their problems. That's how I discussed my problem with my Mother, too, over tea.

The Medium told her about her Grandfather, who said to tell her about my hands and how you loved them. What a strange thing to bring up. Her grandfather played baseball and in the early days their mitts did not have padding in the palm. As a result, her grandfather had very smooth hands, which my friend always noticed and thought were very beautiful. She would sit with her Grandfather and draw her fingers along the palms of his hand and marvel at them.

She went on and talked about other things that all made sense, that didn't seem to be vague at all. The Medium said that our dead relatives are with us and that we do get signs from them, but we have to pay attention. That's when I realized, I had gotten a message, too.

Four years ago today, my Mother died. Four years ago tomorrow, was when I found her. I count both days as the anniversary of her passing.

CVS Card copy.jpg
The Coupon.

Last week, I got a coupon in the mail from CVS. I still use my Mother's savings card. I don't know why, I closed all her other accounts, but left this one open. It wasn't a surprise to get something in the mail addressed to her, but there were other things...1. I've never gotten a coupon for 20% anything in the store and my Mother LOVED a good coupon., 2. The only two days the coupon is good are today and tomorrow-the anniversary days of her passing. I told my friend about it and she jumped out of her chair and exclaimed that, “Yes! Yes it was a message!”

What does it mean? She's still out there, saying hello or do I need to go to CVS and get something on sale (which is the only way she ever spent money).

Then she asked me if I wanted my Tarot cards read! My Mother used to read Tarot cards, but would never read mine. She promised she would when I was 16, but when got old enough, she refused again, saying she never wanted to see bad things in my future. She stopped reading Tarot cards after that.

So of course I said yes!

She told me that I had the sun shining upon me, which means, good fortune. Though money is tight, I will be made an offer of money in a months' time. That I'm on a spiritual journey that is very meaningful to me and I have a lot of emotional support all around me. I felt as though it was another message-telling me that by following my heart and opening this Non-Profit rescue organization, that I'm doing the right thing. I've gotten a tremendous amount of support from all of you and it makes a huge difference. She told me that a woman, a “water” sign would be very important in my life. I'm not sure who that is, but I hope I met her already.

crazy ladies.jpg
©2005 Robin A.F. Olson. Like Mother, like Daughter..

It's curious, this life and what follows after this life comes to an end. It's comforting to imagine that all my relatives and all the cats I've lost are somewhere out there watching me, supporting me and are just out of reach, not really gone. Of course there's only one way to find out if this is the case or as my Mother told me; “When you die, you're dead, that's it. No. I won't come back to see you or send you signs. I will be dead.” Yeah, not the best Motherly advice.

I guess in this, I hope she was wrong.

I miss you, Mother, whether you know it or not and maybe, just maybe we all really WILL be reunited again one day. Put the kettle on for tea.

And then it hit me...

I have NO idea how I got enough votes in the Best Cause Related Blog category since I didn't vote for myself, nor did I ask anyone to vote for me in this category! So it brings a question to mind...who is out there who believes so much in what I do that they would put me alongside other folks who focus on a Cause?

What's even more curious to guys are right! I'm glad you know me better than I know myself. Heck, YEAH, I'm all about the CAUSE. This isn't a blog just about my cats or fun cat products or the latest cat news, though I DO include those things here on Covered in Cat Hair. Where my heart has led me, is to reaching out and helping as many cats as I can, regardless of where they are located or how old or young they might be.

When I started this blog over four years ago, it was supposed to be a vehicle for my book project, entitled: Covered in Cat Hair: Mostly True Stories of a Life Spent with Cats. I imagined an Editor at a major publishing house would “discover” me and offer me a book contract since I have lots of great stories written. I'd sit in my office, surrounded by annoying cats and write, write, write, then look forward to going to the local bookstore to see the finished product on the shelf.

Yet here I sit, surrounded by annoying cats, writing, not published, other than a few little things here and there, but making connections to many people across the Country, who, like me, want to make a difference in saving cats (and dogs!) lives, but maybe aren't so perfect at how they go about it. They just want to do something, anything, but more than donating to a charity, then not seeing the results of that donation. They are willing to take a risk, get their hands dirty, be willing to not know the outcome will be a happy ending, but do it anyway.

Slowly, but surely, you all have found me, as I have found you. Many of us have worked together creating some amazing rescues-whether it was with our $5 donation or by offering to foster cats for weeks at a time. Whatever you did, you were wiling to dive in and trust that we could do it-then all of a sudden we DID. We DID IT and we keep doing it.

For every life we save, we can turn to each other and say “THANK YOU for taking part in this wonderful and bittersweet challenge to save every cat and kitten we can and rejoice in the human bond we are making with each other.”

So, whoever voted for my Blog, in a category I did not expect, I thank you most sincerely for seeing in me, what I did not see in myself and for encouraging my efforts and making them seem so very worthwhile at the moment I'm about to embark on a bigger journey and form my own Non-Profit Organization!

You guys are the BEST! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Not on My Watch: When Fate Steps In...and WTF?!

All right. Someone needs to make sense of what's been happening in my life and explain it to me. I've been lucky to be part of some amazing cat rescues the past few weeks---First there was our Black Adult Mama Cat, now named Freya, who had no chance at Henry Co. Care & Control, but who, after I posted a plea for her, through the help of a lot of great folks, was able to get busted out and off to new, loving home. Then I found Chester, the 21 yr old kitty, who got away from his family and was lost for 5 days. I found him-saved his life. As of just yesterday, Chester is still doing well and more and more like his “old” self every day.

Then there was the Calico Mama, so friendly and loving, but who had no hope to be free from Death Row. Fate stepped in for her and I was able to help be part of the team of folks who got her out of the shelter and into loving foster care. She was adopted before she even made it out of the shelter and will be in her new home in another week or so.

It wasn't enough. Her two cowbaby kittens needed a rescue as well. This one I handled on my own and these babies are coming to me. Within hours of their rescue, I found out about four more kittens who had just arrived at the shelter and who face the same odds of getting out alive. I rescued them, too, but now I'm “full up” and can't take any more to foster.

That's a lot of saves for ONE person with no shelter and just a few bucks in her pocket. But...

Yesterday I saved my first HUMAN and things got even crazier after that happened!

Sam and I had a client meeting at a local coffee shop at noon. We were starving for something to eat and to finally get paid for our web design project we had just finished. Our client walked in the door, but looked strange. He had a bruise under his left eye and on the bridge of his nose. I made a joke as he sat down and asked him what happened.

He said; “You know...” and could not finish the sentence. He kept saying the same thing and gesturing in frustration. Then it hit me, the injury was NEW and he was either having a stroke or something else was going on!!!

Thankfully, my Mother was an Emergency Medical Technician Crew Chief, and I learned a few things from her. I asked my client to smile. He did. Nice and symmetrical-but it was a grimace of frustration. Okay, no drooping facial things going on, so maybe not a stroke, but he cannot speak any more! He gestured for paper so we grabbed a note pad, we couldn't read his writing. I looked around and noticed a bicycle cop-who, I'm sorry but I can't take them seriously, and told him something was wrong and we needed an ambulance.

This is crazy. I don't know my client that well and I didn't want to overreact when maybe he was diabetic and needed sugar or gosh, I knew he had a clear airway, was breathing basically ok, was agitated (if I couldn't talk I would be, too), but what was wrong with him? I hoped he would not be mad at me for jumping to get him on an ambulance when maybe he just needed a cookie?...I managed to get his phone. I apologized for going through his private stuff, but he wrote his wife's name down and I found it as a "favorite" on his iPhone. Another cop showed up as I reached his wife.

The Cop wanted to talk to me, but I had to talk to her first. I didn't have time to rehearse what to say, so it came out weird. First, I was calling on her husband's phone and she didn't know this woman using her husband's phone! In a shaky voice I told her what my Mother said to me when my father had a stroke. She said he had “an event”...then I told her he could not speak and she started to cry. She was an hour away, but thankfully had a friend who could drive her to the local hospital. I got off the phone and talked to the Officer.

We were all trying to figure out our Client's address-Sam had that since he had the invoice in his hand that we were not going to get paid for that day (hey, these are desperate times!) and it had the info on it. Finally an EMT showed up and started to assess things. About 10 minutes later, a huge mob of folks showed up. More cops, some official looking woman in a suit with a badge attached to her belt, 3 or 4 more EMTs. Meanwhile the folks in the cafe are wondering what is going on and the staff is worried that he fell on their property!

My poor client. I rubbed his back and told him it was going to be okay and to not worry. That we caught it soon and he would be in good hands. He is friends with surgeons at the same hospital so I knew he would get extra good attention. I just wanted him OUT of the cafe so he could get the help he needed, fast!

I asked one of the Officers if I should go with my client or follow in the car, but he reminded me that not being a family member, they would pretty much ignore me. Since they had everything worked out and knew how to reach me and Sam, we decided it was best to just let them take our Client and leave it at that.

After they left, a few of the staff came over and asked us if we wanted anything. Sam and I just sat there with our eyes full of tears and said “no thank you.”

Then Sam turned to me and said; “That was the WORST client meeting I've ever had!”

Yah think?

I didn't want to leave him, but I had another meeting to get to. I went to dish big time dirt on the shhhh...Director of the group I used to be with and the person I was meeting didn't have a cell phone so I couldn't call to cancel. Suddenly, I didn't want to dish dirt or get into my car and drive off. Life just felt so fragile. He was our client, a few years older than we are. He seems in good health, has a wicked sharp mind and loving family. How quickly all that can change. It's very sobering.

I ended up having a good chat with this top secret person. I heard some interesting things and realized that my leaving that group was what I needed to do. Now I have the freedom to really make a difference and find my own way in the world...

But that was before I got the call asking me if I was maybe interested in taking over a shelter and running it as my own. It is staffed with volunteers. Has been around for a long time. They don't even do fundraising. They have plenty of money! And no, I was not sleeping and having a nice dream. The offer, though not a serious one at this point, is a sincere one. I can just step in and do my thing...or maybe I can't, but it's a SHELTER with only cages for new arrivals and they really are NO KILL. They don't put down for space reasons or healthy animals. What the heck?! This can't be!

It's kinda like the OTHER thing that happened yesterday between the tornado warnings and violent thunderstorms...I could not sleep. I went to bed crying, knowing a few more sweet babies were going to be euthanized at 7am. I didn't want to tell you guys about it. It's bad enough that I knew. It was late at night when I got the message. There was no time to find a rescue, so I laid there and wept for them.

2840b_flame baby.jpg
©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control

But it's okay. Don't you cry for them, too. Good old Fate was keeping me awake, I guess. 'Cause something miraculous happened. I pulled off the one thing I was sure I could not...

Taylor Swift is Better Than Me

Anyone who visits this web site regularly knows there aren't enough cat photos. There just aren't. Thankfully, Davander Mobile just released the latest version of CatPaint for lucky iPhone and iPod Touch owners. For 99 cents it's great for creating absolutely absurd images using your own photos as a background. Then you simply add their pre-loaded cat images to any "catless" image or add more cats to an existing photo; if you feel badly that you only have 2 cats and want to seem more like a hoarder (like me with 8 cats).

I swiped a few examples off the Cat Paint Gallery so you can see the work of true “artistes.“ It's very simple to pick up on how to create your own Catserpiece, and during the creation, the cat art meows every time you place one! Great for taunting real cats while you do your art.

As seen on Cat Paint's Gallery Page! Nice job, whoever you are!

Of course if Taylor Swift can enjoy this, well, that just says it all. What it says, I do not know, but heck there's a CAT in the photo. WIN!


I just did my own Cat Painting. It might not have been Mewseeum quality and of course I would pre-fur an option to add my own cats. Maybe that will happen in a future version, but for now, I feel satisfied that my boring photo of the Tappen Zee Bridge has been transformed into a moving tribute to something. Maybe. Maybe not a tribute, but not a bad effort. Okay. Just look at the photo I made and like me so I can feel good about myself! I don't have Taylor Swift's legs...or anything else that she's got, for that matter.

catpaint bridge.png

©2010 Robin AF Olson. “The Bridge to Tabbybithia”

So go. Create art. Or bug someone with an iPhone to share this app with you. Just don't bug me. I'm busy creating another catsterpiece.

Brush Your Cat. Save the Gulf!

Get out your brushes, gang, the wildlife of the Gulf Coast region need our help!

Did you know that human hair and pet fur is GREAT at absorbing OIL? There's a non-profit organization, called Matter of Trust. They collect hair from salons, pet hair from shelters, rescues, schools, individuals-anyone who's got HAIR! They create hair filled "booms" using ladies nylon pantyhose, then drop them onto oil spills and the hair does the rest!

hair boom.jpg
Photo by Matter of Trust

What a simple and wonderful way to help with this tragedy in the Gulf!

Here's the info from their web site:

Everyone can take part!
No matter where you are. No matter if you're with a salon or groomer or if you're a volunteer.

First, please SIGN UP to their Excess Access program. It's FREE and FAST.
It is their mass donation matching database system.

They cannot give out addresses for where to send hair, fur and nylons unless you are signed up, because as the spill moves so do the recipient sites and we don't want any boxes returned to you. And they don't want any boxes coming there after the spill.

START BRUSHING, GANG! LET'S SEE SOME PHOTOS OF THE CLIPPINGS BEFORE YOU SEND THEM OUT! Best pile of fur photo will be featured here and on our Facebook fan page!

I want to see at least 100 times better than this:

Furmains on a table.jpg
This is a bit of Nicky, Nora, Bob & Spencer, but I know I can do bigger and better (without the cats going bald!)

Get to it and PLEASE pass this info along to your friends! You can also visit Matter of Trust on FACEBOOK.

Beat It. A Contest!

bob hairball copy.jpg

Bob Dole (my cat, not the ex-candidate for Vice President) has been coughing for about a week. I admit I didn't give him enough hairball remedy, but thankfully he, somehow, managed to hork this bad boy up.

Okay, it's gross, but you have to admit it's impressive, too! In all the years of discovering hairballs, I've never seen one this big.

So now, my dear readers, I challenge you. Can your cat blast a bigger hair hunk? You've got a week. You can't "make" a fake hairball with your hands or in photoshop. You need to include a ruler next to said hairball so we can see how long it is. It's gotta be the real thing. Also, include a photo of the cat who did the “horking.”

To enter, you must email a photo of the hairball w/ruler and photo of the cat who “made” it to: by Friday, April 23, 2010.

Prizes? Hey, do I look like I'm sponsored by a major corporation? I might have a Furminator or a box of Catnip Tea I can toss your way. Is it great motivation for you to send in pix? Heck no. Is bragging rights worth something to you? I think, YES! The winning hairball will be posted right here on CiCH, along with a photo of the now somewhat less hairy cat (if the owner provides one).

So stop cleaning up those messy hairballs and get out your camera, first!

Note: open to anyone who has a camera, a cat and a cat who just puked up a hairball. Please DO NOT HARM or otherwise induce your cat to vomit. I mean, really, do I have to put that in writing?

BlogPaws: Off “We?” Go

There's nothing like the excitement of packing up and going on a road trip with your beloved. The promise of the open road. Leaving your troubles behind you. The enjoyment of discovering more about the world around you, and yourself, while you're at it.

And...there's nothing like the threat of not going on the trip at all, just when you've finished packing and you need to load the car. But wait, first you must have a HUGE, blowout fight over the fact that you're stressed and short-tempered (because you don't want to leave late) and not being very nice. Okay. Let's have a big fight for two hours, so we can be certain to leave as LATE as possible, so the 660 mile drive will end around 12:30AM instead of 7PM! Great.

There's nothing like battling through CT, NY & NJ, followed by an endless drive across Pennsylvania. I swear that state GROWS while you drive it. All the up and down, curvy roads, the rain, the truckers who tailgate and the insane f-cker who almost hit us.

Yet, somehow, with all this, there's nothing like being able to find a way to work it out, to get over your petty/not-so-petty-but-you-don't-want-to-admit-it crap and attend to the task at hand. You make the 660 mile drive. You get to the hotel late. You eat a cold sandwich and pass out cold on the big, cat-less bed. You wake up to a new day, full of possibilities.

You awake to the purr of a garbage truck dumping something outside your window. You might be fearful that the shit storm is going to happen all over again, but you have that hope that today will be different. Today will be different! And if not, the trip was already worth it.

We made one stop yesterday, other than bathroom breaks. I scored a really cool 1950's lamp for my living room at the Atomic Warehouse, so that's good, right?

More from BlogPaws, life in Columbus, Ohio and The Sam & Robin Smackdown Show, soon!

Foster Cat Journal: And the Award Goes to...

Cupid does not care for me to read while I'm having one of my visits with her. She also likes to make sure she rubs her ringowrmy foot all over my book, my pants and anywhere else her rear left leg can reach.

Why I cant read.jpg

In a way, I was grateful to her for interrupting my reading. I took it as a cosmic approval that the book sucked as much as I feared and I really shouldn't bother with it. I'd forced myself to read up to page 100 because the author is a famous, fancy-pants, but I just didn't get it. The story had too many back stories and not enough “forward” story. It just annoyed me. It annoys me to even write about it. I wanted to slap him and declare; “GET ON WITH THE F-ING STORY, will ya?!”

Who is the author, you ask? I can't say. It would be unprofessional of me to reveal HIS name because HE wrote something that was made into a crappy mini-series AND he won a Pulitzer for one of his novels. And he lives in Maine. And his latest book is about Cape Cod. That's all I'm sayin' and NO, I do not think the book was “FUNNY” as I've seen others declare.

He wrote about getting crapped on by a seagull. That is NOT funny. It's especially not funny if you're traveling in Scotland, with a family you just met, and a giant flying rat craps down your arm, in front of two young children, who are suddenly shocked into silence because they have good manners, but whose eyes are about to pop out of their heads because they want to laugh so badly. They wait for a nod of the pooped-upon to let them know it's all right to laugh their asses off, while you try to swab away the shit storm on your sleeve.

See? It's funny when I tell about MY experience of being pooped on, but in this book eh, not so much. Plus, being pooped on is just a few lines of a bigger story. It's not going to win anyone a SECOND Pulitzer, 'cause if there was a Poop Pulitzer, well, stand back because I would surely win it!

Vintage Kitty Postcards!

Vintage Cat Postcards 2 of 2 copy.jpg

I just received a lot of four vintage postcards illustrated in Germany by Mainzer in the early 1900's. These cats getting into all sorts of mischief, but they're also really bizarre. There's a cat who looks angry that the other cats are in his yard and he's got a DOG with him for protection!

More postcards to come! Wait 'til you see the smoking themed one!


Subscribe to RSS - Weird