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One I Hold in High Regard

The Tweetie Chronicles: Socks reaches 1.5 MILLION followers!

I am SO excited and delighted to see my little (well, not so little any more), foster, Tweetie doing well and finding a happy home with Sockington, who truly IS the most Famous Cat on the Internet.

Congrats to Jason Scott (sorry, I can't call you, Fatty) and Food Lady, Pennycat and of course SOCKS for reaching 1.5 MILLION followers on Twitter!

I LOVE this video! Jason Scott makes great use of Sockington's fame by sending a message to everyone-GET INVOLVED when you see an animal on the street who needs your help. ADOPT a SHELTER CAT or DOG! It's great. Thank you, Jason! Your heart is as big as the world!

Here's the video! Enjoy!

Sockington 1.5 Million Movie from Jason Scott on Vimeo.

Gracie Update

Understanding what results to expect when utilizing Homeopathy, is definitely something I'm learning. It's different from seeing Dr. Larry. With him, I would expect him to prescribe a shot or pill, etc., then within a specific amount of time, I'd expect results. I'd also end up effecting Gracie in ways none of us would intend. For instance, if I'd caved in and told Dr. Larry to give her steroids, she's be looking very nice right now, but internally, I would have done damage to her that might not manifest right away. They call steroids “the silver bullet” for a good reason. They work great for lots of reasons, but there's a price to pay, which includes potentially causing a whole slew of immune related problems and worse, which end up shortening the life span of the cat. For a geriatric cat in poor health, steroids can give them comfort and help them find their appetite during their final days. In a young cat, I would avoid it if at all possible. Each situation is different and you need to discuss using steroids on your cat with your Vet.

I just got back from visiting Dr. Hermans. We had a good conversation, then she examined Gracie. Firstly, Gracie's nasty self-mutilation IS HEALING NICELY! I was only able to apply some calendula based first aid cream to her twice, along with some bitter apple around the site of the injury. Since she was healing with little help from me, that's actually a good sign that she's STOPPED chewing on herself.

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We also discussed diet. Gracie may not be tolerating the food I changed the cats over to. They all go crazy eating it, but Gracie wants it too and she can't have it so she won't eat or she'll wait and try to get some scraps off another plate. This doesn't work since there usually are NO scraps left. Now I've been given the OK to open up the choices of food I give her, which should help inspire her to eat more consistently. Juggling what to feed 8 cats is a pain in the ass. Dr. H said there is “no such thing as feeding all cats in a multi-cat household, the same food.” It's a “Holy Grail” that can't be reached if your cats are of such varying ages and from different backgrounds. Gee, I didn't have enough to feel bad about! Ugh.

So back to the food drawing board. Hopefully, I will get this figured out. The math involved in all of this “how many ozs of food/how many lbs of cat” is driving me nuts. We have a bit over 100 lbs of cat, but each one gets a different amount of food. I can't feed them all the same amount because it's too costly and I don't want the cats to get fat.

We spoke, again, about re-homing Gracie. Dr. Larry feels it's time for me to do that and Dr. H says, “No. Not right now.” The problem here is my expectations, more than anything else. I'm used to a quick fix. Homeopathy doesn't work quickly-espeically for something like dermatitis. It's going to be up and down over a long period of time. There are no guarantees, either. This may not work, but we haven't given it long enough and Dr. H does see signs that Gracie IS responding to treatment. If she was in bad shape, she'd have kept on chewing her leg. She may have had a flare up. Hard to say. I can't imagine finding a home for her with no other cats or dogs, where the new owner would not give her steroids for her skin or who would feed raw and follow her health needs. It's just not going to happen. Crossing fingers: I will get her back in good shape one day and prove Dr. Larry wrong. Gracie can stay here and be happy AND healthy!

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Bottom line is that I need to give Gracie more alone time-which I've been doing the past few nights and we're going to adjust the treatment she's getting and give that to her more often and she how she does. She won't be getting acupuncture just yet. Apparently it does not go well with Homeopathy! We can only do one thing at a time. Who knew?

Thank You for all the Helpful Suggestions

Thank you, everyone, for your helpful suggestions. I've done so much for Gracie, some times I forget what's gone on.

To answer some of your comments-

Gracie IS on a Bach Flower Essence combo and has been on it for a few months now.

Last night when I saw her injury, it looked BETTER than it had at the Vet's office. She also relaxed the second I put the first aid salve with Calendula (rec'd by my homeopathic Vet) on it. We had a very nice quiet snuggle last night and for the first time in a very long time, I opened up the foster room and let her hang out in there. She seemed to enjoy herself and was relaxed and purring (and drooling on me).

As for fostering, I need to keep doing it. I need to do it because it keeps a smile on my face when I battle depression every day and I need to do it because I can't face knowing all those kittens are being put down, when I have space in my house and know how to care for them...BUT Gracie's well being is very important-of course.

Also, I haven't had foster here since March and as it looks right now, I won't be getting any any time soon. I'm going to talk to my Vets about this. The theory for me is-if she was OK with them before, she should be OK with them again, but...that is a guess.

Lastly, I agree that with homeopathy, what is occurring now could be a GOOD sign and a sign that the worst of it is about to be over and the true healing can begin. I won't know this, of course, until a lot more time has passed and I can look back and either smack myself in the head for waiting to bring out the big guns (steroids) or jump for joy that this difficult time was just the harbinger of better ones yet to come and that I've finally found the answer to help Gracie recover.

...crossing fingers....time to go smooch Gracie.

Sunshine State's Sweeties Looking for a Forever Home

My Friend, Karen does cat rescue in the area of Miami, Florida. She needs help getting the word out about her foster kitties; Pearl & Summer. In a purr-fect world, Mama-Pearl and daughter-Summer would be adopted together, but she certainly understands that it's a lot to ask, so she'd be thrilled with two good homes for her sweet girls.

Karen IS willing to transport the cats to a great adopter, so don't let distance be a problem for you if you're interested in these cats.

Lastly, if you don't have room in your home for a new kitty, would you please let your friends know about Pearl & Summer? That would big a great help to these cats and simple to do. You can use the “ReTweet” button on the top right of this post or just send folks to Thanks so much for your help!

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Mama-Pearl. What a sweet face!

Beautiful rescued mom PEARL and her gorgeous 11-week-old baby girl kitten, SUMMER are terrific, affectionate kitties! They're looking for loving people & good homes. Both are healthy, tested negative for FeLk/FIV, w/shots & dewormed.

Pearl is 2 years old & spayed, & spay is included for Summer. Little Summer is a tri-color kitten (with too-cute markings on face and tummy!). She is perfectly socialized & friendly with everyone – confident, playful & loving.

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Baby-girl, Summer. Irresistible Cutey!

Pearl is a pretty, purring, chatty, playful young adult tortie with bright colors, gentle & outgoing. Both are so easy to handle & so easy to love. They adore people & will be ideal companions. Hurry to adopt adorable Summer and/or sweetheart Pearl for yourself & they’ll thank you with big purrs!!!

To adopt precious PEARL and/or baby SUMMER, please contact Cat Network mom, Karen at 305-665-1639 or today!

p.s. Both Summer and Pearl have adorable facial markings, and Summer has bright, cute zig-zag colors on her tummy. They both love to purr and be cozy with their people!

The Tweetie Chronicles: Never Ending Story

Looks like our good friend, Sockington made the headlines again. Fortunately it was not due to having many secret Mistresses. Socks was at it again, being featured for his Twitter follower-prowess, which is now at over 1.5 MILLION! Socks is so big, he caught the attention of THE People Magazine-May 17th issue, page 152! Are we proud of you, Socks, well, DUH, of course!

Would we be AS proud of you if PeoplePets didn't do an additional article about you called: “The 5 Things You Didn't Know About Sockington?” (that happened to include our former foster, Tweetie?) Well, yesssssss, yes. Of course!

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See point number 2, above. Thank you to Helin Jung, my charming friend at PeoplePets for including Tweetie and moreso for declaring aloud that I'm a comedian to the general public! Maybe I can get a booking doing a “stand up comedy, socializing feral cats world tour,” next?

Who knows what's next? I know that Tweetie is doing well, hogging the food at meal time so he has to be separated from Socks and Penny Cat and that otherwise he's getting along well with his “Dad.” Of course what PennyCat thinks in another story.

Oh and WELCOME People Pets readers! I forgot my manners. Hope you'll come back and visit again, soon!

I promise. No more creepy close up shots of my feet! (see below a few posts..wait, no, don't look).

R is For: RESCUED!

I had nothing to do with this! I wish I did, but it doesn't matter. What matters is these kittens were all removed from Henry Co.-a kill shelter and have been moved to safety by a Georgia rescue.

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Congratulations, kittens! Have a wonderful life and hope you all find your forever homes soon!

Thanks to our friend Barb, from WCR for the update!

A Simple Click Helps Solve a Difficult Problem

As I get older, I realize that it would be selfish to adopt any more cats after I reach a certain age, yet I don't know at what point in my life I need to do that? What if I get a terminal illness in the next year, while I'm still young (-ish!)? I'd have eight cats to worry about.

One of my biggest fears is what everyone in rescue sees ALL the time-owners who die and leave no one to care for their pets. Those pets are often times geriatric, themselves, and are very difficult to place. What is their fate? You can guess the answer to that without my help.

After spending my life devoted to the welfare of cats, how ironic would it be that my own cats would suffer the same fate I fear most?

In 2003, a charitable trust was created to help solve this difficult problem. They're called Banfield Charitable Trust, a non-profit organization based on Oregon.

In addition to Pet Peace of Mind , they also make donations and Community Grants to local Non-Profits across the country. Their goal is to keep Pets & Families together, with a focus on increasing awareness to the vital role pets play in every family. They do this in a variety of ways, which you can read more about HERE.

What I'm most impressed by is their goal to work with Non-profit Hospice Caregivers to create programs where they can allow their patients to KEEP their pets with them, instead of being forced to give them up when they enter hospice. Or have to give them up because they are too frail to care for their pet. This not only gives a person dignity, but confirms that animals are a core part of our lives. Without them WE suffer and that is one thing that shouldn't happen when a person is facing their last days.

Photo from Banfield Charitable Trust

Right now, Pepsi is sponsoring the GOOD IDEA Campaign. The winner will get $250,000.00! Banfield is at the 12th position. You can help with a Mouse-CLICK and keep clicking, every day until April 30th. You can do good, without it costing you anything but a few minutes of your time.



More Ways to Help

Ask your friends and business colleagues to vote as well. Use blogs, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. It only takes three minutes to register. Once registered, you may vote every day. Voting for this project will take less than one minute per day.

Go HERE to see even MORE ways to help!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP! SPREAD THE WORD! Let's make Banfield Charitable Trust, Number ONE!

Sleepytime Gal

Wow. What a day.

Why is it every time something important is about to happen in my life that I can count on getting my period? What's up with that? Not only did I get it, but I GOT IT. You know what I mean? I swear my body is out to get me, but like everything else, perhaps it's a blessing in disguise?

Sure. Whatever you say.

So. BlogPaws!-my first Conference Presentation was this morning at 11:00 AM. I had practiced out loud, in the shower (hey, not that kind of practicing!), in the car, in my head when I laid down to go to sleep. I knew what I needed to say, but was worried I'd rush or fumble or both...or worse, forget the entire thing!

I knew I should try to be relaxed and calm. There are lots of nice folks here-about 250 of them. My PowerPoint presentation was only 10 minutes long, then I was to spend the remaining time on a panel discussion. The topic: “Leveraging Social Media.”

I promise I'll re-post this soon with photos, but for now, I can only write up some notes. Try to visualize... With bad cramps, feeling woozy. Slept for about an hour because I was an idiot and ate a HUGE chocolate cupcake before I WENT TO BED last night. Between the sugar and the caffeine, there was no hope I would really sleep. I DO know better, plus I'm worried that my Wii is going to yell at me when I get back home for eating like a moron while I've been in Columbus. Even now there's a HUGE vanilla cream puff from Schmidt's Sausage Haus sitting on the desk in our hotel room at the Westin!

Okay so back to visualizing me, sleepy, shaky, in my first session which was about how to do a product review without getting sued by the company whose product you're reviewing or get into trouble with the FTC. Basically, don't lie and be clear that you are reviewing something you were paid to review, if that's the case and you're off the hook if you didn't get paid, just don't be a twit and make declarations that are anything outside of simply “my own observation or opinion.”

Okay, common sense. What was dreadful about this session was one of the speakers was not able to show her slides. The computer locked up, then after restarting, they realized NO ONE knew the password to log onto the Mac! This poor woman, just calmly went on ahead and did her thing. Me, I thinking, “oh shit. I hope that doesn't happen to me. I'm dead meat if my presentation doesn't work—the same one that I still don't know if it got loaded onto a Powerbook or if it runs!”

I looked at my watch. My pulse was throbbing in my throat. My hands were trembling. Time to head to my session. I got upstairs and ran into Helin, one of the other presenters. I love Helin. She's from PeoplePets, so that make her super cool to know, but really without it I'd like her just as much. She's so cute and bubbly! She told me the room was still being used. They ran late! They ran SO LATE, it was 11 AM, instead of 10:45 am when we were supposed to get the room, get prepped and get going.

Ha ha ha. Another squeeze on my blood pressure! Those folks would not get out of OUR room!

They finally left and we started to set up. Jennifer Laycock went first. She ran her preso off her laptop. She was great. As I listened to her, I started to worry that she was going to talk too much about what I planned to say. I sat there and thought; “'t talk about analytics! Okay, yes, talk about Twitter, but no oh...don't talk about..ack!” Then I got so absorbed about worrying what she was going to say that I spaced out and thought I will have nothing to say! I am blank.

Then it was my turn. My Preso wouldn't run.

Oh $#$@#!

So I talked about doing stand up comedy. I made some jokes. They realized PowerPoint wasn't LOADED onto the laptop I was supposed to use. They tried MY powerbook, but the adopter (ha ha ha! I'm leaving that typo-I meant ADAPTER) didn't work. We used Jennifer's PC, but it took so long to get it working, I had to introduce Helin and she did her presentation while things were getting sorted out. What a mess!

I got back up to talk. This is it. I was shaking so hard, I could barely press the arrow key to advance the slides I designed. I told them about my journey blogging about Tweetie (remember him?!) and The Tweetie Chronicles. Sockington and Jason Scott. Instead of stumbling, it was smoothly delivered. I didn't go too fast, but I kept a good pace. I made everyone laugh and as I got near the end I was surprised it went so quickly. After the presentation was over, there was only time for a few questions. I was very happy that a few folks came up to me and told me to make sure I didn't give up on doing stand up comedy! Does that mean the presentation sucked? Hmmm...just realized that!

I think it went very well, considering everything that happened. It was so worth all the work and practice and looking back on it I can say I enjoyed it very much and hope to get the chance to do it again.

The rest of the conference was just fine. I learned a few things. I met a LOT of people. I need to sort through the enormous pile of cards I got and start figuring out who to check in with, who to follow on Facebook and Twitter and who to be real life buddies with. It was so much fun to meet Caroline, aka RomeotheCat on Twitter. She and her team kicked butt putting this conference together. For a first time event, it was great. Well put together, good food, good space, good folks. There's much more to write, but I'm just dead tired and I have a vanilla cream puff waiting for me.

I don't care if I have to face the wrath of my Wii, too. So there. I'm hormonal. I have my needs.

Foster Cat Journal: Talking Myself Off the Ledge

I knew today would be tough. Donner and Dancer were slated to be adopted together. I was somewhat prepared to let them go, knowing they were going to a good home. Sure, I would cry, but they need to be with a new family who will love them always.

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Little Donner. ©2010 Ryan Feminella

A few minutes before the adopters arrived, I noticed that Dancer had a bald patch on her leg-surely not RINGWORM again?!!! I began to worry that if Dancer had to stay behind, then Donner would go alone and I could not allow that. Donner is far too social of a cat to be without the company of another cat. This family had no other pets. In fact, it's been so long that they had anything other than fish, they had no Vet reference. I was willing to overlook that because they would not let the cats outdoors, not declaw them and were certainly willing to feed them a grain free canned food diet-maybe even raw. They were going to take the kittens to my own Vet, too. So maybe it would be okay?

Then the family arrived. All six of them. The youngest was 11 and the oldest child is in college. I felt like it would be too much for Dancer to handle and the poor cat freaked out. She showed terribly and if Donner hadn't been so fantastic, I doubt they would have adopted the kittens. My heart began to sink. I just thought that maybe it was too much. That how could I adopt to people with no Vet reference? They didn't seem to be madly in love with the kittens. Maybe something was wrong. I can't say exactly why, but I started to feel that maybe this was not a good idea...but it was too late.

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Dancer looking lovely as ever. ©2010 Ryan Feminella

I tried to talk them out of the adoption-offering them first pick of the next litter due in a month or so. They said they had been looking for a long time and that they were sure these were the right kittens. The eldest daughter said she knew the kittens needed time and that it would be all right for them, but I kept hoping they would change their minds-even after knowing that Dancer probably had ringworm.

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My sweet muffin, Donner. ©2010 Robin Olson

Apparently, the two youngest boys do wrestling in school and perked up when I mentioned ringworm. One of them casually replied; “ Oh yeah, if a kid gets ringworm, he can't wrestle. It happens all the time!” Yikes! Their stepmom looked worried about it, but they all assured her it was not a big deal.

I called Dr. Larry and made them an appointment for the kittens. At least I know they will, hopefully, continue to use him as their Vet and that way I'll get some updates on how they're doing. I offered to pay for the visit, since Dancer will need medications and a DTM. I should have kept her here for another 30 days, but the adopters wanted her today. There was just no keeping them here. The giant band-aid had to come off and boy did it hurt.

I'm very thankful that Jennifer called me while I was writing this post. I cried for the better part of an hour after everyone left. Sam comforted me as best he could, but somehow it wasn't until Jennifer talked to me-my comrade in mourning-that things didn't feel quite so painful. She smartly reminded me of another adoption I did last year. I was SO sure it was the PERFECT family for my one little kitten. They were going to dote on her and they had a big McMansion, etc...

Then, Jennifer and I paid them a visit. Once there we both got the creeps, very bad creeps. These folks wanted to adopt another kitten from me and I kept putting them off-for MONTHS. I was sure they were not great adopters and I had wished I hadn't adopted to them at all. Jennifer reminded me that where I thought these guys were perfect, they were lacking. That the adopted kitten should be all right, but no more should go to this home-ever. That perhaps, the people who adopted from me today, might not appear to be that great on paper, but may, in the end, turn out to provide a big, loving home, for two cats who have carved a place in my heart, forever.

Foster Cat Journal: AT LAST!!!!!

The first hint of Spring arrived today with sunny skies and the first temperatures over 50°F. A perfect day for our Adoption Event!

Comet and Rudy, two of Santa's Team, were able to be at the event. Sadly my guys had to stay home due to Blitzen still having ringworm. In a way, I was glad. I don't want them to go, but they're all so big and feisty. I know they need more space to play in and I know they're ready to go, too.

I already had pre-approved a nice couple from right here in Newtown to adopt Rudy & Comet, but I wasn't sure that they were going to stop by today. I didn't have to wait long to find out. Shortly after we got set up, they introduced themselves and asked to meet the kitties.

Jennifer was delayed. Traffic was halted on the Interstate, so they waited around and we chatted. They seem like great folks, have one other cat and are hoping to add two more to their family.

When Jennifer arrived, I felt a mix of dread and joy. I knew this was going to be hard on her and her husband, but I knew it was time for Rudy and Comet to start the next part of their journey-and hopefully their last.

The couple was smitten. Jennifer got to quiz them and make sure that they were the right family for her fosters. Everyone agreed it was a good match so we filled out the Contract and handed over their medical records and the last bit of Rudy's medicine. Jennifer got teared up, but did a great job not balling her head off! I can't say I would have done as well. I had to fight back tears, too. These two cats almost died—first they were saved from a Kill Shelter, then arrived in such poor condition that I almost lost them, then. Comet has gained about 4 lbs. Rudy, the same. They both survived their battles and are loving, wonderful creatures. I couldn't help but think about that as I loaded them into their cat carrier and said by goodbye to them.

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Tomorrow, Donner and Prancer will probably be adopted and Monday, may see Dancer and yes, CUPID being adopted, as well. That will leave me with Blitzen, who has to stay with us until his 30 day ringworm treatment is over...or...maybe he'll stay a bit longer? We'll see.

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For now, let's raise our glasses high and drink deeply in the satisfaction that another two lives are truly saved. We won another battle! Hurrah!

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Rumor has it that Rudy and Comet may be renamed; Leroy and Ziva from NCIS! Seen here with their new family! Yay!


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