Endings and A Hope for New Beginnings

The year is winding down, and it’s been quite a year for me. I guess it was my turn. You’ve probably had your own years with lots of ups and lots of downs. I feel a post brewing about mine, but I don’t feel up to it today. Maybe I’ll write it for New Year’s Eve.

So I’ll show you some other endings: the sunsets in Arizona have a lot of pink and red in them. I took this one at a truck stop along the 10, and the sky was a vivid burgundy. I wish the color here were more true.

This one is typical of almost every December night. Sometimes there are palm trees silhouetted across the pink and dark blue sky.

OK, those were the endings of the day. Now for the hope of new beginnings!

I know a few “special needs” cuties in Phoenix that need a home for Christmas and beyond.

This is Betty. She was born in 2007 and has lived at the shelter for years. Yes, that says years. She is overweight, although you can’t see that from this glamour shot.

Why is she overweight? Maybe because for a very long time she was confined to a cage without exercise. She now gets to roam free in the cat roaming room with the other cats.

Betty (I think she needs a name change) had gotten a reputation for once in a while biting someone. I haven’t been so honored (yet), but I am trying to figure out what causes her to do so. I think it’s when she gets mad because she is being touched when she does not want to be touched. A volunteer might be petting her for a long time and then starts to forget she’s petting her, which means she is ignoring her. Betty might bite a bit to get her to stop over-stimulating her or to pay her attention. Anyway, several of us brush her and she likes it. When I sit on the floor at the shelter, she crawls into my lap and likes me to pet her and then stop and just let her sit there for as long as she likes.

Betty needs a home with an experienced cat person who wants to give someone who needs a chance THAT CHANCE. Betty will reward that person with loyalty and demonstrative love.

Lisa is a sweet black cat with a wonky left eye. Her vision is fine, but the eye itself is scarred so a bit cloudy-looking. Her official name is Lisa Left Eye, but I refuse to call her that. In this photo, I think she’s praying for a home.

Here is Lisa again:

Finally, here is 4-year-old Slupe, a darling Calico that has been at the shelter since long before I started there (which is now almost a year!!!).

Slupe doesn’t like living in a shelter environment and desperately needs a home of her own. Recently, she has lost fur in a few patches on her body, and I think it’s a reaction to stress. She loves to play in water and hide in boxes. She enjoyed playing with the kitten Scarlet, but Scarlet was just adopted so now Slupe needs a human friend and a home. Slupe is considered special needs because she has not been adopted for so long.

Even if you don’t have the right home for one of these adorables, please share their photos and stories in case you know someone who can! They are available here:


10220 N. 32nd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85028



On a cat-related note, I gave my daughter my Homer’s Odyssey book to read. I wrote about it in this post Cat Heroes. Now I see that there is a sequel out about the blind wondercat Homer!


I can’t wait to read about Homer’s life as a celebrity :). Raising Betty, Lisa, or Slupe would be a piece of kibble compared with raising lively blind Homer.

Our shelter’s cat newsletter contained the following very important Christmas tip for cat owners:

This holiday season be careful with all those curling ribbons, tinsels and other Christmas decorations. According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, “Cats have barbs on their tongue that point toward the back of their mouth. These barbs are used fo r both grooming and removing the meat from the bones of their prey. These barbs are the reasons cats cannot easily spit items out of their mouth; things get stuck. This is why toys with thread and string can be dangerous if left unattended.”   Pam also warns us about real pine needles being toxic to cats as well as the tree water, so you should never let your cat (or dog) drink it. You can use netting or Sticky Paws for Plants over the reservoir to ensure your pets don’t have access to it. To read more about how to deter your cats from nibbling on tree brunches or Christmas lights and more, read Pam Johnson- Bennett’s article here http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/how-to-keep-your-cat-away-from-the-christmas-tree/

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours is full of peace and joy. And for everyone, I wish you much peace and joy in your lives. See you next week!


Filed under #AmWriting, Arizona, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Photographs, Writing

57 responses to “Endings and A Hope for New Beginnings

  1. Hi Luanne: What a delightful collection of sunsets and cats, two of my favorites. My own rescue kitty Mr. Chapman especially liked your plea to prospective cat homes to adopt one of the cuties you displayed. Brings to mind Mark Twain’s observation that a house without a cat is not a home! Wishing you and those you love a wonderful Christmas!

    • Mr. Chapman is a very intelligent, fine-feeling gentleman. Tell him thank you from me and the kitties at the shelter and at my house!!! Merry Christmas to you and to Mr. C, Elaine!

  2. Awwww….kitties. 🙂 And I love that purple sky. Happy Holidays!

  3. Happy holidays and all the best for a lovely 2016!

  4. I love the sunsets this time of year. Wishing you the best in 2016, Luanne. xo

  5. Beautiful sunset and beautiful kitties. I hope they find forever homes soon! One of our guys was so awful in the shelter, but now he’s a sweetie at home (not so much though on his recent sick visit to the vet).

    I can speak from experience about cats and string. Long ago, one of our cats found some string, and she swallowed quite a lot–several feet, I think. We had no idea, but I found her later hiding in the basement and took her to the vets’–where she got X-rays and major surgery just in the nick of time. We are very careful now!

    • Lisa found a home already! She found one very quickly at PetSmart. Hoping it’s a good one!
      That is a terrible story about string and your poor kitty. Oh man, that is so scary I am always scared of rubber bands and string and aspirin around cats. Do you think thick shoe laces are ok?

  6. Beautiful sunset photos, Luanne. Yes, I would say Betty needs a new name. 🙂
    Enjoy the holiday season! xo

  7. If I were closer and had a place of my own, I’d adopt one. Only trouble I’d have is deciding which one. 🙂

  8. I like the name Betty! I hope they all get homes soon Luanne so they can look out a window and see those spectacular Arizona sunsets.

    • You don’t think she should be Elizabeth? She’s such a sweetheart. She was in a bad mood yesterday morning, being at the shelter on Christmas morning :(.

  9. Beautiful cats. Many cats do not like the shelter environment. Can’t say I blame them. It’s loud and noisy and sometimes it stinks. Cats are fastidious and private. They like their own space. My cat Mollie was terrified in the shelter. She would hide from everyone. She was 18 months old and already had a litter. I scooped her up and she’s the sweetest cat I have. She’s friendly and if you are around long enough will come to meet you. At night she watches TV in my lap. The at that bites — it does sound like someone is over stimulating them. You have to watch for the signals when a cat is finished with the petting. For Mollie that could be an hour. For Hazel it’s 2 minutes tops. Hope they find homes. (Good think I don’t live close by)

    • We try to keep it from stinking at our place, but the tradeoff is that we have very dusty litter and so had to put in a lot of air purifiers which need lots of filter changes. We need to find a multi-cat clumping litter that isn’t dusty but doesn’t stink and isn’t something that could cause other problems or is really expensive. Ideas :)?
      Poor Mollie. Yes, sometimes the shy ones in the shelter don’t get adopted as fast, but can make great pets. Scared cats aren’t necessarily like scared dogs which can be dangerous.
      Gee, I wish you lived in Phoenix, Kate ;).

  10. Happy Holidays, Luanne. Here’s hoping 2016 brings you many more ups than downs.

  11. Beautiful photos! I hope these cats find good homes soon!

  12. Oh I’m not even a cat lover but your photos have me purring!

  13. That is a beautiful sunset picture, Luanne.

    I’m not a cat lover, but my mother-in-law’s cats are trying very hard to turn me into one! I’ve heard that cats that bite are part Siamese (I don’t know how true this is) so maybe Betty is of royal lineage 😀

    I love the hints about pets at Christmas. They’re very interesting and informative. Good work! xxx

    • About Betty, I didn’t used to think that was true about tabbies being part Siamese, but now I have learned that many cats have some Siamese heritage, so it’s very possible. But I think she just needs an owner and feeling like she has a forever home.
      Our sunsets are gorgeous–and so are our dawns. But it sure has been cold for Arizona!

  14. Luanne – melancholy and hopeful seem to pervade this holiday; and you’ve put your personal twist on these sentiments. Much love moving forward into 2016 💞 Sammy

    • Sammy, I miss you. When are you coming back? Love and peace and healing in 2016–that is what is on my requisition list! Hope yours is all that, too! xoxoxo

      • I know; I miss you too. I just cannot be in front of a computer screen so often, so (for now) I chose reading online and financial ‘chores’ online over blogging machinations to wrestle my writing and photos into publish-worthy form.

        It’s very hard to give up having a media format for my ‘voice’ but I wanted to try other (hand) writing forms and formats, art journaling and book arts without judging them via my blogger criteria. The publishing medium does influence how we approach our endeavors, and I’m still trying to find my footing – a balance of creating/writing authentically without succumbing to a priority of attracting followers. I fear I fall into that ‘get followers’ trap, and it hinders what I want to explore. I need some ‘distance’ to find my resolve to follow my path without heeding that media-hype siren call.

        Honestly, I don’t know if I will find satisfactory publishing niche or remain an anachronistic creative gypsy who changes venues and pursuits as the desire occurs.

  15. Aww…I’ll take every one of those sweet kitties please 🙂 Seriously though, I hope they find a happy home 🙂 Love the sunset photo, love that ‘big sky’. Have a wonderful Christmas Luanne, I hope you enjoy a time of peace and joy and laughter…see you soon! xoxo

  16. Gorgeous sunsets. I look forward to hearing more about your endings and beginnings. <3

  17. Merry Christmas to you and a very Happy New Year.

  18. Lovely sunsets! I have one of those cats that nips for seemingly no reason – you’re petting him one second, then SNAP! He gets ya the next. It never hurts, just startles me – I think he does it playfully and I can usually tell when it’s coming because he starts getting squirmy in my lap and rolling over on his back or side. He also loves to lunge at my feet and swipe at me when i walk past him. I take it as him being playful, but he never does it to my husband, just to me. Who knows. He’s still my little boo.

    • Yes, they definitely give signals. I like to watch them carefully if they are like that. You’re probably right that your guy wants to play with you. They never give up trying to play with the one that will play with them. For Tiger it was my son. For Kana it’s Tiger, but the only way she plays is by fleeing LOL.

  19. What gorgeous sunsets! The photos do enough justice, I think 🙂 Thanks for posting about the needy kitties, but I’ll be honest. I’m glad I’m miles away because no telling what would happen if I lived in AZ 😉 We have our hands full with our three but still … sometimes I dream. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and that next year is your year to relax!

    • I’m hoping Marie moves by me this year. Then I’ll take her to the shelter with me, just to meet the kitties. Winkie faces all over the place. Hahaha. Oh, Kana just jumped up here and kissed my forehead! I do think it’s true that 3 cats is pretty perfect and the easiest to handle. Adding the 4th makes all the interactions between them more difficult. Happy New Year, Marie! Let’s hope 2016 is a magnificent year for us both!

      • Lol! I would have to adopt the whole shelter … Or just never leave 😉 You’re right, 3 is a good number, at least in my experience. But, I know there’s a stray out there looking for the Bailey-Browns 😉 Have a wonderful New Year, Luanne 🍾

  20. Slupe looks exactly like a cat I had in law school. Nice to see and remember. And thank you for the sunsets. I hope your 2016 breaks anew in all ways.

    • Slupe is one I really want myself, but my vet told me I can’t have her and that I can’t have any more cats now. We have to work on the ones we have ;). Kana has put a little upheaval into the household and all 4 cats are seniors, so time to let things settle, sadly for Slupe. She is such a dear. Thank you for your 2016 wish. That is what I am hoping–that 2016 will be joyful and healthy and with lots of healing for all of us!!!

  21. I wish I could adopt Betty or Slupe. Betty looks like our current kitty, Firefly. I also prefer older cats to kittens. And Slupe seems to look like our kitty who passed away, Jinxy. However, Jinxy was a tortoiseshell and you say Slupe is a calico. I do hope 2016 is their year!

    • It’s funny you say that about Slupe. Her chart used to read tortoiseshell and it was changed to calico. I don’t really understand the difference, but I do know that Slupe has all 3 colors–tan, black, and white, but she is mainly tan/black which maybe makes her look like a tortie? She’s so sweet and greets me at the kitchen sink near the door when I come in to the roaming room. I also prefer older cats. Much so! Betty is a lovebug and crawls into everyone’s laps!

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