Thursday, May 27, 2010

I was sick again

I had a bad lung infection that hit Monday and barely let up this past Sunday so I've been playing catch up ever since then. I'll write something good soon now that I'm feeling close to normal and Toby is no longer running scared from coughing fits.

He tried to be sweet and would curl up next to me on the bed but as soon as a coughing fit would start he'd dart off--eyes wide, fur up, fear evident in every bit of his body language--and hide under a chair where he would stare at me until the fit would subside. I don't blame him--those were some nasty coughing fits. Thank heavens for good medication.

Keene didn't seem to notice the fits other than that I was around more for him to bug about food. My previously underfed foster is starting to form a belly! I've started being more careful but it's hard not to give into his meows when food seems to make him so happy. He's an old man, surely he deserves some happiness?

I did also get to show up Keene's awesomely fierce playing skills to Jarrod while he kept me company. Keene's eyes turn completely black and he attacks his toys when they move close to meal time. Toby just bats playfully and leaps around. Keene goes nuts with lashing tail and fully extended claws. He does sometimes seem to forget what he's doing midleap though. There were a few times when he would miss the toy and just keep going into the middle of the room before stopping with a confused expression on his muppet face.

You should not laugh at a cat when this happens if you have a lung infection. To pay for the insult on their dignity, the universe will cause the laughter to morph into a long and painful coughing fit while the insulted cat strolls calmly to his food bowl.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ridiculously Cute DC Puppies

So after a full weekend with the family I'm way too exhausted to write anything good.

So I'll direct you to my friend Gina's blog about her foster puppies. She's this incredible volunteer and awesome person. And the puppies she's caring for need homes.

So go bask in the cuteness.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

My awesome mom

My mom is an amazing woman. She was on law review at a seriously amazing law school where she met my dad and still made time to play by Walden Pond and go to baseball games despite maintaining an excellent gpa. She then was a partner at a major law firm with my dad while they raised three uber-precocious kids. She played the guitar for us when we were small and instilled a love for the piano in all of us (I'm awful at playing, but I can get a basic melody out because of her). When I was about 10, she left the firm to become a full time freelance writer specializing in nonfiction for kids and teens--writing award-winning history, science, and religious articles and books while again, making time for three active kids.

My mom never had a dog or a cat. She had a bad experience with dogs as a kid and is extremely allergic to cats. We had fish growing up. However, she raised me into the animal-loving person I am through her examples. She made it very clear through her actions that just because you might not be comfortable with an animal, doesn't make it any less deserving of compassion and respect.

Here are just a few of the awesome ways she has shown compassion and respect for animals.

  • Her book, "Everything Kids' Nature" won one of the inaugural Henry Bergh Children's Book honors from the ASPCA in 2000.
  • She once stopped the car in a street three blocks from home because there was a cat in the road and she didn't want to accidentally hit it.
  • When I was in junior high and my girl scout troop found an injured squirrel during our park cleanup, she helped us call Animal Control and allowed us to mourn for the poor hurt creature.
  • She took me to riding lessons for years and even made a witch costume for a costume class, despite being a little intimidated by the Quarter Horse mare she had to measure.
  • She arranged a trip to Assateague to see the wild equines and then "adopted" a mare which for me which meant paying for birth control darts for her to help keep the herd a healthy size.
  • She bought me Andy Warhol cat prints to celebrate my Toby.
  • She loves supporting the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and their conservation efforts.
  • She convinced her editor at Yes Mag to include not only that kids should find ways to help their local shelter, but also a photo of one of WHS's awesome dogs (Nyla) to show how beautiful shelter pups could be.
  • On one of my last trips home, after I mentioned Big Black Dog Syndrome and how colorful bandannas help--she whipped out some beautiful fabrics, and made bandannas for the shelter dogs.

She raised three children who love animals. My brother called me to ask what temperature is too cold for a dog to be outside when he noticed his neighbor in El Paso had their dogs outside over night. My sister is incredibly supportive of my volunteer work with WHS and loves to dogsit for her friends. Obviously my mom did something to show us the importance of compassion for animals.

You don't need to grow up surrounded by pets to grow up learning to respect animals. On this mother's day, I'm really proud of my mom.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Keen Needs

It's been a long week and a long Friday (I got stuck in an elevator this morning. It was dark and small and I'm claustrophobic) so I elected to stay in for a chill Friday with the cats. Picked up an iced coffee at Silver Spring's Kefa Cafe and some books from Silver Spring Books (seriously, my favorite used bookstore, I've gotten some great cat/dog reference books there in addition to fun reads).

So I've been playing fetch with Toby, petting Keen, and reflecting on where Keen is now and where he needs to be in the future.

He sometimes shows affection and comfort but then reverts to old man cat. It was great the other night to wake up midway through the night, start petting a gray cat on the bedside table and suddenly realize "holy! this isn't Toby!" and then later have him leap up on the bed, right next to my head, on his way to the table. Unfortunately he hasn't repeated this, at least not while I've been around and awake.

I have woken up to him staring at me from the floor and leading me to the kitchen as soon as I start to sit up. He's like me--I want coffee first thing in the morning, he wants food.

Unfortunately, he's been to two cat adoption events and hasn't gotten even a nibble. He was sweet at the first one and was nice to people when taken out of his crate but spent the second one staring at the garden instead of the people. He has a profile on the shelter site and I'm taking him to events, but he's not getting interest.

And I understand, I do. He's fifteen, he needs regular brushing, he only eats wet food--he's going to need a really special adopter who understands him and will nod back at Keen. Fyi, in my opinion, Keen's cutest behavior is when he nods at you like "that's right, I'm the Keen, you're the person, do it" but I've been accused of anthropomorphizing at times. He's a great cat with a cool personality, but he's not a super affectionate guy. He's fifteen. He's loved and lost. He needs someone great who can love him and understand that underneath the meows, is a cat who just needs some affection and attention in his life.

He's an old cat who wants to sit in the sun, play a little bit when he wants, eat some good food, and get chin scritches before falling asleep. I just need to find the person who can provide that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doga in the Dish

The Georgetown Dish covered Saturday's Doga event!

First, a confession, I almost didn't post the link because I really don't like the photo of me. There were about ten photos taken but little Daffie just did not want to look at the camera. I guess I'd rather the cat look cute and me look odd than the other way around, but oh, my vanity!

The event was a lot of fun, despite the insanely hot day. We had Gaby, a full-blooded-with-papers German Shepherd who was surrendered by her owners. We figured out that her coat problems were because of a corn allergy and her new coat is growing in nicely. She'll still look like a German Shepherd/Wolverine crossbreed for a few weeks though until the new growth comes in completely. She absolutely loves people but got stressed and overwhelmed by the dogs so she got to chill on the RV with ice water for the second half of the event.

I spent most of the day in the cat room with 4 awesome cats, including Daffie who got a great application that day so should be going home soon! One of the cats we brought was Cindy, a super affectionate little girl who has only one eye. When she first came to the shelter, she had an ulcer in one eye and the vets were unable to treat it. However, they were able to successfully amputate her eye and now, this little girl is happier than ever. She loved headbutting people and purring while being petted.

Hopefully someone will read that Dish article and come to the shelter to meet some of our animals. The events are great fun for most of the animals, but what we really want is for them to find their furever family.