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One I Hold in High Regard

CiCH Member Spotlight: “Not on My Watch” Ripple Effect

Memory has a truly wonderful Puritan name. Though I don't know her exact pedigree, I can tell you that Memory is one great lady, so she must come from fine stock!

I was first going to share with you the story of how Memory, one of our Covered in Cat Hair readers, trained her cat, Wallingford, to shake hands and give “high fives”. She posted a video of him in action, which was quite cute!

That, in an of itself, would be a good enough story, but...

...about a month ago, I got an email from Memory, which I'm going to share with you (per her okay to do so):

“Friday, even though I was sick I decided to go to work because I had 10 pounds of turkey gizzards to pick up from the new butcher at the Newtown Deli who gives me free meat and cheap meat for my cats. On the way up 111 in Trumbull, I came across a cat in the middle of the street and decided that I wasn't going to leave somone's pet to get squashed into the road by passing cars. I have seen enough of that and this one was on my watch. I pulled over and as I went to get out of the car, the cat lifted its' head - it wasn't dead! The traffic was going around and a car stopped to block the cat and me from the traffic as I went to pick it up. Another woman had stopped, too and she rode in the back seat with the cat on her lap and we took it to the nearest vet - who lucikly was open before 8 am! I actually had been to that vet when I adopted my Wallingford from them 4 years ago -so they had my name in the computer. I didn't even have to leave a credit card as Trumbull Animal Control picks up the bill. I called from work and they were treating the cat for shock. Later they called me and said that it had a broken tooth, bruised lungs, it's eye had some damage and it had cuts and bruises but it was going to be OK!”

[I'm not going to make a comment about the 10 POUNDS of Turkey gizzards!]

Memory didn't stop there. She got involved and didn't back out.

Saturday Trumbull Animal Control called me at home and told me that it was a big she and she was going to be fine. The warden also said that the cat was in shock and would have died if she hadn't gotten to the vet so quickly. I've been sick, but if her people don't get her by the weekend, I am going to go and take a picture of her and make some
posters to put in the area where I found her.

Again, Memory could have let Animal Control do their thing, but this kitty had a Guardian Angel on her side. She got some photos of the kitty, they called, Lucky. What a stunning Maine Coon!


I was VERY relived to know that Lucky was NOT in any danger of being euthanized because Trumbull, unlike my crappy town, allows cats in their animal pound. Lucky just needed a home. Being such a pretty girl, I knew that wouldn't take long.

“I went to animal Control today and took another picture of "Lucky". She is the calmest cat I have ever seen and completely nonplussed about her situation. I had an adoption inquiry for her from Texas but Animal Control would require the person to come to Ct to meet with them. So it is going to have to be a local adoption. They don't think it will be a problem as she is very pretty and sweet.”


Three weeks passed while Lucky waited to find a good home. Then, another email from Memory:

“I'm not sure exactly what the story is as I got two conflicting emails - but Lucky's owners did find her after 3 weeks! One of their neighbors went to the pound looking for her cat and recognized Lucky.
The owner's had been told that Lucky had been killed in the street and went to look for the body - but it was gone. The first email said that Lucky was back home with her sister and the second said that the people didn't think they could afford to pay her vet and impound fees. I emailed and offered to pay some of the fees - just so she could go home. I should know more tomorrow - a happy ending, and amazing ending.

I just realized that the neighbor saw the cat lying in the street, recognized it and didn't stop to pick it up! I wonder how long she had been there before I came by. She is indeed, a Lucky girl.

This big sweetie is hopefully spending a quiet Christmas with her family thanks to our fearless friend, Memory and an unknown stranger who were willing to stick their necks out and get involved to make a BIG difference in one cat's life.

Not on My Watch: Ready to Rock!

Thank You to Everyone who donated to help get “Santa's Team” to Connecticut!

As promised, I have matched your funds with my own, so we've closed the ChipIn widget and I made my donation via PayPal to save the 3% in fees. We're all set! Now I just have to wait until THURSDAY, the date the kitties arrive, for the fun to begin!

Mark your calendars and stay tuned! Lots of stories await-and photos, too!

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At Last! I'm Published!

If you don't count the GILLION or so articles, stories and posts I've written here as being published, then you can visit one of our good friend' where I'm proud to say, I have my first article posted!

I'm constantly asked by my adopters; "What should I feed my new cat/kitten?” My article discusses the challenge to change peoples' minds about the dangers of feeding a dry/kibble diet, why Raw feeding is excellent for cats and how they can, at least, begin to make a change, even if it means only feeding a grain-free diet.

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My article is here, along with oodles of information about what to feed your cat and why, including helpful tips and stories from folks, like you and me, who are struggling with keeping their cats happy and healthy.

Also, they just re-designed their web site and it looks fantastic! So be sure to stop by and check it out!

Not on My Watch: My Christmas Wish

These are my babies-the cats and kittens I've “busted out” of Henry County in McDonough, GA-home to 90% euthanasia rates. These cats are on their way to having their first Christmas out of a cage, no longer facing certain death.

I've got transport lined up. The cats are in a boarding facility, in two week quarantine until they can be cleared to leave for Connecticut. The last piece of this phase of their rescue is to raise funds to cover their needs until they arrive. Some will be spayed or neutered. All will get their combo tests, first FVRCP shot, de-wormed and de-flea'd. Their boarding is $5/day; some are boarded for more than 2 weeks due to transport run timing. The costs are listed below.

I realize that asking to raise $925 is asking alot-which is why...


This rescue is my Christmas gift to myself. I can't think of a better gift then knowing my home will be filled with foster kitties on Christmas! I can afford to pay for half of this fundraiser. Can you PLEASE help me get the rest of the way there? We need to get the funds raised in a week!!! That's all the time I have left.

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THANK YOU for your help. I know these babies would not stand a chance at life, let alone a Happy Holiday without ALL of OUR EFFORTS! We've had a GREAT YEAR together! I'm SO PROUD of ALL OF YOU for doing SO MUCH to help cats in need! Let's end the year with JOY, knowing that although we can't save them all (yet!), we can save some. Thank you for being part of my Team and sharing my passion.

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Thank you to Barb Lowe & Susan Birnbaum at Winging Cat Rescue for making this rescue possible!

Not on My Watch: Will Hit-by-Paradise

In less than a month “our Will,” the kitty who survived being hit by a car, stuck at a shelter that would have to euthanize him due to his medical needs, then suffered a 900+ mile transport, is now living the life of luxury in Connecticut.

Apparently Will is:

1. not afraid of dogs

2. the alpha dog

3. a bed hog

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Photo of Will (left) and Millie (right) provided by Will's doting Mother, Clare, who we at CiCH simply adore!

It's a good thing his family is English, because they teach their companions good manners at all times. I'm sure Millie, the dog, would never be so rude as to insist on getting her dog bed back! Also, with Millie's excellent breeding (pardon the pun), there are high hopes that it will rub off on our wiley, Will!

Will, please learn to share, buddy! Glad to see you doing so well!

Not on My Watch: One, Two, Three: BUST!

Seven Vet trips in six days, barfing, mooshy poop, stench, worms shooting out of one kitten's butt-yeah, I'm ready for MORE, baby! Bring it!

Now that the Crazy Kitten Clan is almost done being spayed or neutered and we're getting applications in on some of the kittens, I started to feel a bit “itchy.” Who was I going to take in next?

There are a few kittens in the periphery and a cat, but with some juggling, hopefully it will work out if I decide to, umm, err...rescue a few more cats? Come on! I need my FIX!

Why go shopping out of a drab Holiday guide when you can save a life out of a “cat-”a-log. Sorry for the PUN! What a thrill, in a way of course (I can't save many or all), but a thrill to just take in a deep breath and say; “YES! Pull those guys out of that shelter. I have NO idea if I will find them homes or find out they are sick or have behavior problems. I just NEED to do this and it seems to get a bit easier every time I do it.

This MORNING I got an email from Betsy at Henry County-YES, the same place that euthanized three sweet kittens I was about to rescue. Who would it serve if I just cut them off and never helped them again?

Then I saw this:



...and read this: Mommy is just as loving and sweet as she can be and will have little chance to get out once the kits are pulled from her. The babies are weaning now and are ready to go to the kitten room.

She has 4 beautiful babies, the family is in an isolated area for nursing moms and everyone is healthy.

This family needs to be rescued from the shelter THIS WEEK. Friday December 4th they will be split up and mom most likely will not make it out once she goes the adoption room. IF the room is full she might be euthanized since she is past her ready date.


Mama. I am not gonna let you down!

I contacted my lifeline to GA Shelters, Barb Lowe and Winging Cat Rescue and asked her if she could help me. Barb is ALWAYS busy pulling cats from shelters and always has a lot on her plate. Did Barb put me off? HELL NO! Barb made a call. A few minutes later...

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Everyone is SAFE and OUT OF HENRY COUNTY! Mama had her combo test. Negative/Negative: the words we love to hear!

Next up...FUNDRAISING to get their Vet bill paid and transport to Connecticut! Get your wallet 'cause I'm gonna be asking you to pull a few bucks out it!

Hey! I'm doing the hard work and taking the risk. I just want your CASH!

Will let you know when fundraising ChipIn Widget goes live!

Foster Cat Journal: OMG!

I promise to write a REAL update as soon as I can, but for right now all I can manage is to tell you that the kittens we rescued from Georgia arrived last night at 11PM. If you want to see something completely insane, release 9 HUNGRY, FREAKED OUT, TIRED, PENT UP kittens into a SMALL ROOM!

Imagine these kittens have also been locked up in cages at a shelter for weeks on end-some, most of their short lives. I've never seen so much bouncing, jumping, hopping and flat out running (then slamming into each other) in my life. The air was electrified by the release of all their fears as they tried to figure out in the space of a few seconds- where they were, where the food was, what where these things (toys!) all over the place and where did they go to the bathroom.

It was exhausting just watching them-which was about all I could do. I grabbed a few and bathed the stuck cat litter off them and I petted a few as they raced by.

Speaking of exhausted-that would be me and that would be why I can't write much more. I was up until 2am, then got up early to find out what they had done to the foster room while I was asleep. I imagined a 6 foot hole in a wall with smoke billowing out of it and everything in the room, shredded to tiny pieces.

Oops. Gotta go. Am bringing three kittens to Jennifer's house and I don't want to be late!

Thanks to All of You

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I'm very thankful to all of you for your help, comments and support during the past year. With you, we've been able to pull off, well, a few miracles for some very lucky and deserving cats.

With you, we've raised money to "bust" kittens out of High Kill Shelters, support rescue groups, struggling from the bad economy and find a way to get medical care to a cat hit by a car and two cats who needed life-saving surgery.

Each time I stick my neck out and say; "Not on My Watch" and take in another rescued kitten or cat, I find I'm a bit stronger and more able to do what I do because YOU are there with me. My only hope is that I'm giving something back to all of you.

Since May of this year, 61 cats have been rescued and adopted through this web site and my own fostering efforts. Add to that the MANY cats we've put the word out for who have been rescued and adopted, too and that's easily over 150! Not bad for a BLOG!

My goals to help are endless. Next year I hope we do double this number or triple. The number of animals I can take in is finite, but the number WE can all help together is limitless.

So THANK YOU. Have a great Thanksgiving and let's get back to work and bust out more kittens from Kill shelters soon!

With Love to all,


Not on My Watch: The Best Thing

The best thing that ever happened to Will, a year old run-of-the-mill white and brown tabby, was that he was hit by a car. If that fateful moment had passed uneventfully, the car swerved or Will's timing had been a bit better, not only would we have no story, Will probably would have died.

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It's ironic that Will would have died not being struck, but by being a free roaming, homeless cat. He'd already slimmed down to seven pounds. At the rate he was going, if no one stepped in to help him, Will might not have survived the winter.

But The Fates were kind, by striking him down on Willard Street (Will’s namesake) in Greenville, South Carolina early in the morning of November 4th. Perhaps someone racing to get to work hit Will, stopped and saved him at that moment or someone saw him in distress and took him to Greenville County Animal Care Services. We just don't know. What we do know is Will met a lady named Andrea who works at GCACS.

Though GCACS could not help Will be medically treated, for budget or whatever reason, Andrea was determined to find someone who could. She did not want to have to euthanized such a friendly cat. She sent out an email that found its' way to me. I'm not even sure how she knew my address. I can't even find her original email.

Nevertheless, I took a breath and thought about what I could do. I am 900? miles away? The only people I know in Greenville, SC are...wait..a VET and a good friend to cats named Jenna!

Though some of you may know what happened next, I need to acknowledge these people-Dr. Anderson, of Cat Clinic of Greenville, SC, drove to GCACS to rescue Will, then gave him a physical exam and determined that he had an injury to his right eye and to his palette. Being in a sorry state, Will got cleaned up and was given all the tests and shots he needed, all the while, Will was “making muffins” and purring. Will didn't care if he was injured, he just wanted to love and be loved.

Our friend, Jenna made numerous trips to visit Will and update us on his progress, as Will began to heal. She was Will's voice and it was Jenna who contacted Dr. Anderson and arranged for Will to receive care in the first place.

Without these ladies, we know what would have happened.

Fate stepped in again. This time one of our dear readers, Clare, offered to adopt Will, never once meeting him—completely trusting that everyone's comments about how sweet Will was were true. Through seemingly endless emails back and forth, I arranged transport and Jenna got Will, along with two kittens to the drop off spot so the transport could get them to CT.

Will, Pip and Purrsimmon arrived on Saturday. Sam was kind enough to pick them up since I was still at the Cat Writers' Conference. Seemingly unscathed by the long journey, the moment Will arrived, he was relaxed, purring and ready for some cuddling. He never hid, hissed or complained. He is easy going and laid back and oh so cute!

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When I met Will, I could tell he was “all that and then some.” He liked to be held. He didn't mind the kittens using his tail as a toy. He even groomed, napped and played with the little girls. They looked to him as a surrogate mother.

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I didn't have much time to get to know Will; just a few hours. In that time, I too, was captivated by his sweet nature. While I looked forward to Clare and her daughters coming, it was mixed with some sadness. It also hit me-here's another cat who would have so easily be euthanized because he needed medical care and was in a place that could not provide it to him. How can that be? I can't understand that anyone would put money over life like that. It's tragic.

How could you say, “No” to this face???

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At 5pm, on November 22nd, a giant pickup truck pulled into the driveway. Three slight, English ladies came running to my door. One of them was Clare, though I didn't get a look at her because she was already hugging me hard, on the verge of tears. Rescuing Will was more than just adopting any old cat. This was the first time Clare felt like she stuck her neck out and got deeply involved (instead of making a donation or helping socialize our shy kittens) when an animal needed help. It was also the first time Clare ever adopted a stray!

All of Clare's cats are purebred Burmese.

Before you pass judgement-and you shouldn't, you should know that Clare wanted cats who are known for being friendly. It was an honest, good-hearted decision to adopt purebreds and those cats need homes, too, but something had changed in Clare. She saw stories of the heartbreaking life shelter cats endure. Instead of looking away, so looked. She allowed herself to feel so bad that she couldn't sit still until she took action. She didn't need or want another cat, but she DID need to say; “Not on My Watch!” and she DID need to do something about it.

So she made some room in her life for one more. She took a leap of faith in everyone who knew and loved Will and realized that without even meeting him, she loved him, too.

As Clare and her daughters entered the foster room, Will was at the door, ready to greet them. There were squeals of delight and oooohs and ahhhhhs and “he's so beautiful!” You couldn't even see Will through all the hands petting him and fussing over him.

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Everyone took turns holding Will as they got to know him better. He got belly rubs and hugs, pats and kisses. He glowed. I could tell that Will was home in the arms of these good people. Clare and I got choked up a few times-especially when she promised me that she would NEVER adopt a purebred cat again. From now on she'll only adopt shelter cats.

It's an amazing feeling to look into the eyes of this sweet cat and know his journey and know that the best thing that ever happened to him used to be that he got hit by a car.

Now I'd have to say that the best thing that happened to Will is yet to come.

Of Space Telescope & Cats

I'm a science-geek. Both of my parents were scientists. How they popped out an Art Director/Writer daughter, I have no idea.

A few weeks ago, when we first heard about Will, our friend Terry Frum told me about his buddies, Space Paws and that they were helping get the word out on Will, too.

I went to visit (virtually) the gang and found their website to be charming and filled with kitties that are being loved and cared for and some are looking for good homes, too. Thing is-these folks work at STScI, otherwise known as: Space Telescope Science Institute! OMG, like how COOL is that? Also you need to check out their icon, then look at the icon of Space Paws. Love it!

SpacePaws.jpgSpace Paws!

If you live in the Baltimore area and are lookin' for a new kitty to warm your lap or purr in your face at 4am, stop by and check them out. Also, each kitty comes with a top secret implant that allows the cat to communicate with the Hubble telescope and download cool photos taken from space that you can printed out at any CVS, Walgreens or Photo Store! Errr..okay, maybe not, but it would be COOL, right?

Anyway, welcome our new friends at Space Paws!

Over and out.


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