Cat Stories – Bingo’s Big Adventure

Bingo was only eight weeks old when she was adopted by a nice young woman named Sarah. Sarah took the adorable little calico kitten home to meet her husband and twelve-year-old son. Bingo loved Sarah’s son immediately and they played together for a long time on the floor. It was a good match.

The family enjoyed getting to know Bingo over the next few weeks and frequently found themselves laughing at her crazy antics. She would attack their feet when they walked around the house which they all found quite hilarious because she was so small. Despite her size, she would put everything she had in to her “attacks”, kneeling back with a swishing tail only to pounce vigorously like a tiger on top of any moving foot.

Cat Stories Bingo

Bingo had full run of the home but hadn’t yet found the courage to venture out on the large acreage the family owned. There were two ponds near the back of the property that had many tall trees growing on it. Sarah enjoyed spending time there because she found it so pretty and relaxing. One day Bingo decided to follow Sarah to the quiet spot.

As Sarah relaxed in a lounge chair, about to doze off, she heard Bingo begin meowing very loudly. Sarah looked up to see Bingo had climbed to the top of a small tree. The top of the tree was swaying precariously and Bingo was getting more fearful as the moments passed. Her yowling filled the afternoon air. Sarah ran toward the house looking for her husband and, at her frantic calls, he came running.

As they both considered how to help Bingo, neither of them could come up with a way to get her down. Soon Sarah’s son came running over and quickly formed an idea to rescue her. Mom and dad watched as their son quickly shimmied up the tree. Bingo’s cries became more frantic as he neared the top of the swaying tree. When he got close enough to grab her, the tree bent over and hung directly over the murky pond beside it.

Now, not only was Bingo crying at the top of his lungs, but their son was as well! He was screaming that he was going to fall when Sarah’s husband instructed him to try and back down the tree. Unfortunately, his pants were snagged on a branch so he couldn’t get down.

A neighbor heard the frantic cries of child and feline and arrived unexpectedly on the scene driving his big green tractor. The helpful neighbor drove right up to the pond and extended the bucket so that the young boy was able to simply step down in to it, grabbing Bingo as he did so.

Once put down safely on the ground, Bingo took off like a shot towards the safety of the house.

Since that day, Bingo has spent many a sunny day lounging on the front porch of the house or chasing butterflies in the family’s front driveway, but he refuses to venture in to the back yard.

No one can say that Bingo didn’t learn his lesson that day. The family agrees that they never have to tell Bingo anything twice.

He is one smart cat.

The Cat Behind the Door

Why are you looking at me?
Can’t you see I want to be alone?
I hid behind the door for a reason
But I can’t get it to close

The dogs are barking
The kids are crazy
I hid behind this door for a reason
I just want to be lazy

The T.V. is loud
Interrupting my sleep
I hid behind this door for a reason
I don’t want to hear a peep

Now you mow the lawn?!
You were supposed to do it for weeks
I hid behind this door for a reason
So move and don’t peak

So go away and don’t come back
Shut the door when you leave please
I hid behind this door for a reason
So I can sit here in peace

Simeon Russell

cat poems

Popeye’s Long Journey Home

Popeye cat storiesFurkids is one of Georgia’s largest animal rescue shelters so it seems surprising that one sweet-tempered cat would have the ability to steal the hearts of so many of its volunteers. But, when a scruffy, grey-colored cat was surrendered to the no-kill shelter in 2007 that is exactly what happened.

He was a rather ordinary looking five-year-old cat except for the fact that he only had one eye. The shelter staff affectionately named him “Popeye” and he was instantly one of the feline favorites of everyone who worked there. He was affectionate and friendly, fun and easy-going. The perfect cat.

It didn’t take long before a woman requested to adopt him. She informed the shelter staff that she would soon be relocating to San Francisco, with Popeye in tow. Popeye and the woman settled in San Francisco and began their life together. But, it was short-lived. For unknown reasons, the woman left Popeye in the care of a cousin when she moved to Ohio to take a new job.

It’s not clear if Popeye, who was an indoor/outdoor cat, was abandoned or if he escaped from the home of the cousin he was placed with. But, when a young woman named Kelly found the distinctive cat wandering the streets of California, it was clear that he was in poor health.

Kelly said the cat showed obvious signs of pain and, therefore, took him to be evaluated at a local vet clinic. He was found to have an eye infection which, considering his limited eyesight to begin with, made the situation very dire for a cat on its own in the city. Popeye’s teeth were also rotting and the once full, furry coat was thinning on his malnourished frame. Upon examining Popeye, the vet discovered he was micro-chipped, which is how they were able to trace him back to Furkids in Georgia.

Since Popeye’s original home was over 2,400 miles away, they needed to get creative to bring Popeye home. A Furkids staff member, whose husband worked for an airline, was able to use a Buddy Pass to fly to California and back the same week that Kelly had found Popeye. So, within a week, Popeye went from roaming the streets of California, hungry and in pain, to once again being surrounded by the loving arms of people who cared for him.

Immediately upon Popeye’s arrival at Furkids, he was given the medical treatment he needed. He had twelve teeth removed (with only one remaining). He was put on medication to treat an upper-respiratory infection and his eye infection and he began on the road to recovery.

“Popeye is a true survivor,” said Lauren Frost of Furkids.

Thank goodness for micro-chips. If it weren’t for that technology, Popeye might never had made it back to the one place that had always made him feel loved and cared for.

How Your Cat and Your Children Can Live Together in Harmony

There is no reason to not have a cat if you have kids. Many cats enjoy the company of children, but not all cats can tolerate the rambunctious nature that little children tend to have. It all comes down to picking the right cat and training your child how to interact with your cat. It is up to you as the parent to teach your kids how to pet, handle, and treat them with kindness and compassion. Many kids have amazing relationships with their cats and learn about respecting other animals and being gentle towards them – it can be done successfully, but as the parent you have to lay down the rules.

When choosing a cat, research different breeds and pick the breed that does the best with children. If you opt to go to a shelter and rescue a cat then great! Just make sure to inform your adoption counselor that you have children and they can help pick the best cat for you and your household. The ideal family friendly cat would be well socialized to children of all ages, with an endless tolerance of handling and affection. Very shy and timid cats may find living with children very stressful, and cats with these types of temperament should be avoided.
How Your Cat and Your Children

Training Your Child

Teach your child to gently approach your cat to see if he wants to play. If he seems preoccupied with other thoughts or is sleeping, leave him alone until he is ready

Instead of playing roughly with your cat, use teaser toys, rolled up balls of paper, or socks to play with the kitty. If you play with your hands, the cat will think they are toys as well and that it’s okay to attack hands and feet

Don’t bother your pet while he’s eating, sleeping, or using the litter box.

Stroke your cat’s coat gently in the direction the fur grows. Let your kitten determine what they will allow to be petted. Sensitive areas that cats usually don’t like getting petted are on their tummies, hips or feet. It is best to avoid these areas of the cat’s bodies.
As much as you’d like your cat to sleep on your bed, it’s best that he find his own spot to rest. Cats are more active at night so allowing them in your or your children’s bedrooms may result in sleep-interrupted nights because your cat may want to play.

Advice for Parents

Supervise your children when they play with the cat at all times. Also remember that infants and toddlers don’t understand the difference between their stuffed cat and your live pet, and an angry exchange between them can flare in an instant.

Do not let your child carry the cat around- if the cat decides they don’t want to be carried anymore, or if your child is carry around the cat in a way that is uncomfortable to the cat, your child could get scratched or bitten in the process.

Every member of the family should understand the importance of keeping doors to the outdoors and windows shut so your cat cannot get outside. Your new cat will need plenty of escape opportunities from your children if they want to be left alone, and the outdoors is not one of those places.

If you have a toddler, it can be a little more difficult to teach them how to handle a cat appropriately. The temptation for a small child is often to squeal with excitement, chase and grab so it is essential that you plan your cat’s escape route before bring a cat into the home. Baby gates are a great asset to the cat as they allow the cat to feel control over its environment by being able to leave a stressful situation and not have to fear being followed by a rambunctious child.

Training Your Cat

Have you ever watched two kittens play together? They bite, paw, and roll around with each other. Cats and children can become such good friends that sometimes your cat forgets your child is not one of his littermates and could treat your child the same- causing your child to get bitten or scratched in the process. Discourage hand-biting verbally with a No, and offer him socks or other toys to nibble. If your cat is still wound up, pouncing and attacking your hands and feet, it may be time for some quiet time for your cat in a room away from the kids.

Speaking of quiet time, all cats should have a place where they can retreat to if they want to be left alone. This may be a room or even just a space under a bed. You may want to invest in a cat tree- cats love having a high place to sit, and it’s a great way to get out of reach of grabby little hands when they want to be left alone.

10 Do’s and Don’ts on keeping your Cat Safe This Halloween

hallloween cat care

 

Halloween is a wonderful holiday to celebrate for adults, children and even for your frisky felines! However, just like your human children you want to make sure that your kitties are kept safe during the holiday. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts on keeping your pet safe during Halloween!

 

  •  DON’T- Leave candles or pumpkins with candles in them in areas where your cat can get too. Cats in particular are very intrigued by the flickering flame of a candle, and can burn themselves or risk knocking it over and start a fire. It is much safer to opt for electric or battery operated ones instead.
  • DO- Make sure that your cats’ attire is properly fitted if you decide to put them in a costume. Too tight and it can cut off air circulation and blood flow, too loose and your cat may become irritated and try to rip it off. It is best to do a dry run a few days or even a week before- put your cat in their costume at home in a safe environment to see how they react. If they seem irritated or try to take it off, you may want to forgo the costume.
  • DON’T- Feed your cat candy! Chocolate and xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in most sugar free gum) is extremely toxic to cats in any quantity. Cats in general are not a fan of sweets, but if your cat happens to get into your child’s candy stash, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • DO- Create a calming environment for your cat- if your cat is one of those that is particularly high strung, consider purchasing a calming product such as Feliway, Composure (by Vetri-Science), or Rescue Remedy. All of which are safe, natural products and work wonderfully at calming an anxious kitty.
  • DON’T- If you are throwing a party, do not let your cat roam freely around your home. Unless your cat is extremely social and well behaved, letting them roam through a crowded party where people are coming and going can be a nightmare in the form of your cat getting out or eating/drinking things they shouldn’t. Instead, cordon off your cat in a quiet room with a bed, food, water, and their favorite toy.
  • DO- Be sure that your cat has proper and update identification in case they happen to get loose. Your cat has a greater chance of being returned to you if they have a collar with your up to date address and phone number on the tag. Better yet, make sure your pet is microchipped and that the information on your chip is up to date.
  • DON’T- Leave candy wrappers, ribbon, or any type of dangling, sparkly decoration within reach of your cat. The crinkling sound of candy wrappers is extremely enticing to cats, and if ingested can cause an intestinal blockage. Same goes for ribbon- the rule of thumb is if it resembles string (a cats favorite toy!) then it should not be left alone with your cat.
  • DO- Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
  • DON’T- Let wires or electrical cords dangle or let them be in an area where cats can get them. Cats can suffer electric burns or shock if they chew on them, and small kittens can get tangled in them and choke.
  • DO- Remember to have fun during the holiday season!

Never Doubt a Mother’s Love

Scarlet Cat StoryThe sad fact is, there are a lot of cats that are feral. They roam city streets looking for food and are busy raising litters of kittens that many of us don’t even see until they become feral adult cats themselves. On March 30, 1996, a feral cat was taking care of her litter of five kittens just as she did every other day. She was living in Brooklyn, New York in an abandoned garage that was also an alleged crack house. It was a cold day and momma cat (named Scarlett) nestled closely with her litter, trying to keep them warm.

Soon a bystander noticed flames coming from the abandoned garage and made a call to 911. The New York City Fire Department responded to the call and quickly extinguished the fire. As they began the tedious clean-up process, one of the firemen, David Giannelli, noticed Scarlett carrying her kittens away from the garage one by one.

It was clear to David that Scarlett suffered from severe burns. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her one-soft coat highly singed. Most of her facial hair had been burnt away by the intense flames.

The most heart-wrenching moment came when bystanders noticed Scarlett touching each one of her kittens with her nose. Because the blisters on her eyes had taken her sight, she was essentially “counting” her babies to make sure they were all safely near her. It was at this point that poor Scarlett collapsed into unconsciousness.

The same firefighter that had first spotted Scarlett took her unconscious body, along with all of her kittens, to a nearby veterinary clinic. There, they received treatment for injuries they had suffered from the fire. Unfortunately, because they were feral, they had other health issues that needed to be treated as well. The smallest, weakest kitten in the litter suffered from a virus that the veterinarian was unable to treat. The poor creature ended up dying a month after the fire.

Fortunately, the ending was much happier for Scarlett and her remaining kittens. The staff at the vet clinic cared for the feline family for the next three months and every day they got healthier and happier. During the three months it took for Scarlett and her kittens to recover, the story of her loving heroics created a media sensation. By the time the feline family was well enough to be adopted in to their forever homes, the clinic had received over 7,000 letters offering to open their homes to Scarlett and her babies.

The clinic staff decided to divide the kittens into two pairs each pair was adopted in to their own special families in Long Island. Scarlett was adopted by a woman named Karen Wellen, a loving woman who had recently lost her longtime feline companion and was ready to open her home to a new cat. Though Scarlett required ongoing care as a result of her injuries, she lived happily with Karen for over twelve years before she passed away on October 11, 2008.

It’s true what they say. A mother’s love has no limits.

No matter what species it may be.

Saturday Morning Cats

Let’s talk about cats, not a fat cat, not a cat in the hat
Not a black cat, not even cats that save you money on mouse traps
But let’s talk about funny cats and cools cats
Lazy cats and breaking the rules cats

Like this one cat I know is always in a riff
He hangs with some tough kits
Junk yard dirty and ready to throw mitts
Living in the middle of mischief… Yes! It’s my buddy Heathcliff

While the beatniks with Heathcliff are on a path to steal
Let’s talk about a lazy cat that goes bat crazy for his favorite meal
Odie outsmarting, jokester with banana peel
Slicker than his owner, so he screams, “GARFIELD!”

Loving lasagna not really fruits or berries
Opposite of my little buddy, party mouse Jerry
Jerry is cool, collected and calm
Not afraid to roll the dice and make a fool out of Tom

Tom isn’t really clever; he just can’t get it right
If he’s not tricked by Jerry he’s being chased by Spike
Or Jerry tricks Spike to make him chase Tom all night
Or Jerry tricks Tom to spite Spike then Tom gets a bite!

Sylvester and Felix even the Simpsons Snowball
Plenty of cats to name although I can’t name them all
But theirs one cat I love and to me tops them all
I’ll describe him in the next verse, then I’d like to hear your cat roll call

He’s cool with his walk
Sometimes cool to a fault
He’s the coolest cat you’ll ever meet, the coolest cat to never speak
As cool as shade and lemonade, you know, the kind that’s “PINK”

By now, I’m pretty sure you have the answer
It can only be one cat, that’s right! The Notorious Pink Panther
So we talked about cats with a smidge of a twist
Now who’s your favorite cat from the Saturday morning list

Simeon Russell

Tara: The Guardian Angel

Just a few months ago, a video went viral on YouTube, receiving over 5 million hits. It was passed around frequently on Facebook and, chances are, many of you have seen it. It’s the clip of one brave cat, saving the boy it loved from a vicious dog attack.

Jeremy Triantafilo lives in California with his mom (Erica) and dad (Roger). It was a beautiful sunny day and four-year-old Jeremy was outside riding his bike on the sidewalk in front of his house. When he directed his bike back up the driveway, the next door neighbor’s dog came walking around a parked car. Without provocation of any kind, the dog simply tore into Jeremy’s leg, dragging him off the bike. As the dog begins aggressively shaking his head and pulling Jeremy down the driveway, the Triantafilo’s pet cat, Tara, comes seemingly out of now where and attacks the dog.

Tara the guardian angel

In the video, the dog seems truly taken by surprise and immediately releases Jeremy. But, Tara does not stop there. As the dog looks stunned and not quite sure what is happening, Tara takes off after the dog, not stopping until she chases it well past the parked car that is separating the dog from Jeremy. Only once she sees that the dog is truly gone does Tara dive back under the car to go check on Jeremy who is on the other side. By that time, Erica has come check on Jeremy. The entire incident took less than one minute and was, incredibly, captured in its entirety by surveillance cameras placed near the scene.

“It’s honestly just a blur,” Erica Triantafilo said. “I just remember hearing him and the next thing I know, I see my cat flying out of nowhere, on to this dog, and just remember trying to get my son and get the dog away and back in to its yard.”

It is like a parent’s worst nightmare; Seeing your child viciously attacked by an animal. And, altogether incredible that the family cat would be the one to save him. Tara was a stray cat the family adopted over six years ago. So, she had been in the Triantafilo’s lives before Jeremy was even born. She has looked over him since the day he was brought home from the hospital, quieting monitoring his every cry. Erica describes Tara as a “quiet” cat.

“Every once in a while she puts our dog back in to her place, but for the most part, she’s just the most mellow cat you’ve ever met,” Erica Triantafilo said. “All our boys love her and pick on her occasionally. She just loves them right back anyway.”

Though Jeremy received ten stitches for two lacerations to his calf from the dog’s attack, he was able to make a full recovery. He’s a happy, healthy kid running and playing around outside again.

And, Tara?

She’s still watching over him. Protecting him from any harm that might come his way.

Who needs a guardian angel when you have a guardian cat?

Why Your Indoor Cat needs to be Microchipped

Let’s face it, things can happen. When disaster strikes (hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) your indoor only cat could get lost. Or maybe your cat decided to sneak by you one day as you were bringing the groceries inside and you didn’t realize it until an hour (or more) later. If you think your cat is protected because he wears a collar with an ID tag, think again. Although it is recommended that your cat always wear a collar with an ID tag, you should not stop there since collars and tags can fall off or be removed. Your best bet is to double up by having your cat wear a collar with an identification tag and also have a microchip. In the event that your cat has lost their collar, having them microchipped will help animal shelters and animal control officers reunite you with your cat if they go missing.

You may be wondering, what exactly is a microchip anyway, a low jack for your cat? Not quite, but it is an essential tool to helping you and your pet find each other in the event that you are separated. A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted with a needle under the skin in between your cat’s shoulder blades. The microchip retains an identification number that is linked to your contact information through one of the various microchipping companies such as Home Again and 24 Hour Pet Watch. For the majority of cats and dogs the microchip will last their whole lifetime.

Microchipped catsA microchip is NOT a GPS or a tracking device, so you cannot immediately locate your cat if they go missing- a special microchip scanner is needed to be able to retrieve your cats ID number. The point of a microchip is to reunite you with your pet once they are found. Unidentified pets who are found or who are turned into shelters or animal control facilities are always scanned to see if they have a microchip. If a microchip is found during the scan, the owner will then be contacted via the information provided through registration of the microchip. Always make sure that your information is up to date! A microchip is useless if it the information attached to it is not updated, or worse, if it is not even registered. It is the registration that links your contact information with the microchip and ultimately to your cat. If the chip is not registered, there will be no way to find you if your cat is located. Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date if you move or change your phone number.

The microchip can be inserted in cats without the use of anesthesia or surgery, and you can have your cat microchipped as young as 8 weeks old. If you have adopted a shelter cat recently, odds are your cat is already microchipped- it is common practice for shelters to microchip cats before adopting them out. The microchip itself is non-toxic and will not cause any discomfort to your cat- they will never know it is there. Inserting a microchip takes less than a minute to do, and it’s just a little pinch as if you were getting a vaccine. Since the microchip is inserted subcutaneously (just under the skin), you may feel the microchip when you are petting your cat. This is entirely dependent on your cats body frame however- you are more likely to feel the microchip on a thin, older can than you are on a fat, lazy housecat!

Your cat may forever live out his or her life indoors, and never set foot outside except to go to the vet or if you are moving. However, would you want to risk it? Make the right choice for your pet and have them microchipped.

BERNIE A cat rescue story

Sadly, this rescue story begins like many others: An irresponsible person finds out their cat is going to have kittens. They don’t want to deal with feeding and taking care of a bunch more cats so they take the very pregnant mother cat to a field, drive off, and leave her there. Out of sight . . . out of mind . . .

Luckily, the cat was discovered by the land owner, a kind-hearted woman named Jeanne, but not before the cat gives birth to a litter of five kittens. Jeanne tries repeatedly to trap the mother cat and her kittens but, one by one, they begin disappearing until only one little tortoiseshell kitten remains. Jeanne tries to catch the kitten continually for more than three months, setting traps and bait until, one day, the kitten is nowhere to be found. Jeanne lives in a rural area and there are many coyotes nearby so she assumes the worst has happened and gives up hope of finding and rescuing the poor kitten.

cat rescue storiesSome weeks later, Jeanne was locking up the house to go to bed when she heard a cat crying outside. When she stepped out on to her porch, she saw it was the tortoiseshell mother cat. It ran up to her and rubbed all over her legs but then, just as quickly, ran off again. Jeanne stood there for a few minutes calling to the cat when she saw it coming back toward her with something in its mouth. It dropped the little black bundle at Jeanne’s feet.

It wasn’t moving and it was dark so Jeanne couldn’t tell what it was. After retrieving a flashlight from inside the house, Jeanne inspected the bundle more closely. It smelled terrible and, though it was covered in fur, it was singed. When she reached out to touch it, it hissed at her. Jeanne then realized it was a kitten and that it was alive! As it was late and Jeanne was afraid to separate the kitten from the mother cat, she put together a makeshift bed in one of the window-wells of her farm house. She laid the kitten on soft blankets and momma cat jumped right in to the new bed to lay next to her baby for the night.

Early the next morning, Jeanne took the kitten to the vet, who quickly agreed with her diagnosis of the kitten being burnt. Thankfully, the only part of the kitten that had been literally burnt was his tail. The rest of the kitten had only been scorched by intense heat which left him with singed fur and whiskers. The sensitive tissues of his nose and mouth had also been affected by the intense heat, as well as his paws and paw pads.
The vet cleaned the wounds and prescribed antibiotics and discussed a recovery plan for the poor kitten. The vet worked closely with a lovely woman named Susanne, who often fostered cats that needed extra special care. Jeanne handed the kitten over and told Susanne his name was “Burnie” – or “Bernie” as he would come to be known.

It was a long, tough road of recovery for Bernie but he was a truly strong kitten with a determined spirit.
How could he not be?? Just look at his mother.

A true “wild” cat, who wanted nothing to do with humans, she knew when to overlook her fears and ask for help when her kitten needed it most. With a will that strong, how could her baby not have some of the same?