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Quick Update on Chester

Chester's family is truly devoted to their beloved furry friend. I've been told that they are going to cover any charges he incurs at the Emergency Vet Clinic and have already set up plans to make the drive to Connecticut from VERY far away in Maine, to get their boy back.

They're ready for him to come home IF he is stable enough to make the long journey. There is some pressure in that the Vet closes at 8 AM on Monday. They're only open when "regular" Vets are closed. The thought here is that if needed, Chester would either have to just go home OR be transferred into boarding or another Vet, depending on how he's doing.

I've offered to pick him up and foster him here for a few days if that is needed and Barb, another rescue lady, also offered her home in case Chester wanted to have a choice of locations (hee hee).

As of 5 PM today, Chester was described as being “OKAY,” which seems to be a step up from what I heard at 8 AM, which was “iffy.” I'm VERy hopeful the trend to improve will continue and Chester will be ready for the long trip when Monday morning arrives.

I plan on going over to the Clinic to pick up my cat carrier and to visit Chester, if he can have a visitor. It would be great to see him in a perkier state than I last saw him.

Please, dear kitty, know that your family is coming for you. Fight the good fight. Get some rest and may you feel fabulous tomorrow!

“Fur for the Gulf” Makes the News!

As promised! The video clip of the News segment from last week's announcement of the “Fur for the Gulf” program.

Copyright 2010 NBC30 WVIT. Used with permission.

Toot Toot

I'm not big on tooting my own horn. My efforts are all about saving cats. That said, it's been a very strange few days. I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame and then some...

Monday I asked my Director about doing a “Fur Raiser” for Matter of Trust. She liked the idea. Tom, the owner of our local pet food store liked the idea and offered to help by being the drop off location for any fur we collect. I began designing flyers and a banner, some web graphics and whatever else we need. I also wrote the Press Release and our Director sent it off to the local paper. I sent it off to the local News stations.

On Wednesday, a reporter for one of the local newspapers saw a comment I made on Facebook about the Brookfield Craft Center closing its' doors. She asked to interview me about it and I agreed. I used the opportunity to tell her about our “Fur For the Gulf” Fur-Raiser and she liked the idea and said she would talk to her Editor about it. The Editor liked the idea and asked her to interview me AGAIN and to send a photographer to my house to get a shot of me brushing the cats (easier said that done, I can tell you that!).

Nicky is going to star in the local paper in a day or two! Here he is just after the photo shoot, still looking like a model.

Out of three news programs I contacted, one, NBC, contacted me right away and want to do a story about us. With any luck, they'll be at Your Healthy Pet on Saturday, early in the afternoon. I've arranged to have our mama cat, Sally Sox there with her 6 kittens-just for the photo op and hopefully some viewers will fall in love with the kitties and adopt them. Why not? Kittens have to be brushed and can donate fur, too!

Today the article hit about the Craft Center. I think it's a hoot. If you want to read it, it's HERE. Tomorrow or Saturday or Sunday or who knows when, the articles about the Fur For the Gulf will be out.

How much fur will we collect? I already know a Vet and a groomer who is going to donate fur. I have a little bag from our photo session (most of it ended up on me) and I have a feeling we'll get a lot more. No one knows if this will work or not. If we'll be stuck having to cough up a lot of money for shipping or if we will scratch our heads and wonder why we did this. I wish we got all this press over our kitten programs, but it's a start. By doing something a bit unusual, I was able to get our group some attention. I have to say, the irony of writing a blog called: Covered in Cat Hair and knowing I'm about to collect cat hair on purpose, didn't go unnoticed.

So two newspaper articles and a tv news spot. Not a bad start. If anyone wants my autograph, just drop me an email. Hee hee.

Fur for the Gulf!

Fur For Web Banner A1_390.png

I love what Matter of Trust is doing to help protect the shore birds and wildlife, who are in danger of becoming victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If you haven't already heard, Matter of Trust is collecting human hair, scrap wool and pet fur to create “hair booms” and “hair mats” that effectively soak up the spilled oil.

Since I volunteer with a cat rescue group, I figured it would be a great fit to do a “Fur-Raiser,” where, instead of asking for money, we ask for “fur-nations”—fur that is groomed off dogs and cats that we will later ship to Matter of Trust. Even if I have eight cats, brushing them won't give me enough fur to make even one hair boom! We need lots more!

If you live in western Connecticut, USA and want to bring some fur-nations (dog and cat fur-only), we'll be accepting them at Your Healthy Pet starting this Friday, May 14 through to May 28, 2010.

YHP is also giving out treats to every pet (while supplies last) whose fur is donated and owners can also enter a drawing to win gift certificates and other fun prizes for pets!

And if you'd like a flyer to print out and hang up at work, you can do so by clicking the image, below.

Fur 4 the Gulf A7.jpg

Let's get brushing those pets and help the animals in the Gulf!

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!

socks people pets copy.jpg

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).

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.

Foster Cat Journal: The Last of Santa's Team...Goes Home

Part One of Two.

Here we are in April, almost May, and little Blitzen is not so little any longer. His siblings and Mama are long since adopted and he's been here with us, finishing up treatment for ringworm and mingling with our resident cats.

Just over 4 months ago, litle Blitzen, below right and his sisters, Donner and Prancer with their Mama, Cupid—just part of the 9 cat rescue from a Georgia Kill Shelter, I called ”Santa's Team.”

Sam and I have discussed whether or not we should adopt Blitzen. Of course, he's been here way too long and we've grown attached. We've wondered if we're being selfish and if we can really afford another cat (probably not). Blitzen seems to be getting long fine with everyone and they're working out how they get along with him.

Regardless of our decision, one thing is for certain. Blitzen needed to have a Vet check to clear him to be adopted. I brought him over to visit, er, get a check up with Dr. Larry. Super Deb spent some time with us before Dr. Larry got back from his lunch. Super Deb looked Blitzen over. He purred and purred as she weighed him, then sat with him on her lap and clipped his claws. Super Deb did something I rarely see-she smiled; a big, I-let-my-guard-down-smile. It was a Cheshire Cat smile-there and gone in the blink of an eye, but I saw it. Even though Super Deb said I shouldn't keep Blitzen, I didn't think she really meant it.

I came to understand she was concerned about the other cats and how they were doing. She imagined an angry piss-festival, lots of loud screaming fights and poor Gracie's skin erupting in blisters from being stressed out. It hasn't been a picnic in the park here, but it's not as bad as all that. I assured SD that the cats were working it out-and they are, but that I did agree, adopting another cat was NOT in our plans.

blitzen ears_sm.jpg

Then Dr. Larry came in to the exam room. He took one look at Blitzen then made some God-awful whistle-chirp-something-sound. Super Deb and I looked at each other with a “WTF” look on our faces. The sound freaked Blitzen out so we scolded Dr. Larry, who was oblivious to what we were saying. He was too busy focusing on Blitzen, who calmed down and went back to purring and looking around the room.

”You should definitely keep him.”

“You're kidding, right?”

“This cat is...a-w-e-s-o-m-e! He is a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l cat and what a sweeth-e-a-r-t!”

Then Dr. Larry asked Super Deb for her opinion and she said No. I would be nuts to keep this cat, but did admit that he was ”Okay, nice, but I really shouldn't adopt another cat.”

Blitz got cleared for takeoff. No more ringy-dingy-worm. No ear mites, fleas, URI, tapeworm, roundworm, blah blah blah. Now I just had to find him a great home.

I knew Blitzen would be adopted easily. What's not to like? He's completely confident in his fur. He is happy and loving and oh so adorable. If I adopt him, I really can't get my “dream cat.” I promised myself that next year I would begin looking for a BIG Tuxedo Maine Coon to rescue. That would put us at NINE cats if we keep Blitzen. Even for me, that's too many.

So, I need to do what's best for everyone. I lucked out and found the perfect home for Blitzen. The Adoption Agreement was signed today. I cried as the signatures hit the paper. How could I not? This adoption isn't something I'm going to be able to maintain my poker face over.

adopt agree.jpg

It's time for me to move forward. We have a few feral mama cats who have recently given birth. One had six kittens on Monday! It's been too long since I've had babies in the house and I miss fostering. It's Kitten Season, after all, and I need to get back to work.

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!

New! Search Stories on Google

Google has come up with a nifty little video generator called Search Stories that allow you to create a quick video out of google searches. I made one in a few minutes. Let's see what you guys come up with! You can post the links to me via email and I will post them here (I have to give the vids a once-over and they need extra admin permissions for the videos to work).

Here's the one I created:

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.


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