Tag Archives: animal shelter

Of Engagements and Cats

As you can probably guess from my last post and the list of events that occurred in my life in 2015, I am glad to be on this side of 2016. But one more good thing did happen at the very tippy end of 2015: my son got engaged! He bought his girlfriend a pet rock (that’s what I call it), proposed on bended knee (on a hotel rooftop overlooking the ocean and city lights), and even asked her father for permission. Both son and his fiancée are traditional types! Not that it’s necessarily my business, but I definitely approve his choice. Come to think of it, I guess it is as much my business as it is her father’s business!!! I’m thrilled to be gaining another daughter!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending more time than usual on the shelter cats. I even started to think that my next project after the one I am working on ought to be poems about an animal shelter. That is a rich, emotional, and even dangerous setting.  Nobody has done that one before. The problem is how to write about the issue without becoming too sentimental or too cold. I think that is why it’s a subject usually avoided in literary poetry.

For your entertainment, a little cat poem by Irish/American poet Eamon Grennan.

Cat Scat

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
I am watching Cleo listening, our cat
listening to Mozart's Magic Flute. What
can she be hearing? What
can the air carry into her ears like that,
her ears swivelling like radio dishes that
are tuned to all the noise of the world, flat
and sharp, high and low, a scramble of this and that
she can decode like nobody's business, acrobat
of random airs as she is? Although of course a bat
is better at it, sifting out of its acoustic habitat
the sound of the very shape of things automat-
ically-- and on the wing, at that. The Magic Flute! What
a joy it is, I feel, and wonder (to the end this little scat)
does , or can, the cat.

—Eamon Grennan

What do cat poems have to do with son’s engagement? Not much, except that he has two cats, Lily and Meesker, so they will be very happy to be part of the marriage ahead.

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Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

An Award-Winning Book!

That’s right: my “baby” is an award-winning book. Doll God won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in its category. I can’t help but say WOOHOO!

And if I do say so myself, this book makes a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and [insert your holiday of choice] gift.

I’ll be donating some autographed copies for the raffle at the Holiday Festival that the animal shelter is participating in, so if you’re in the Phoenix area, you can pick one up that way! Or you can click the book to get to Amazon.

Home Fur Good Holiday Festival Cave Creek, AZ: December 12, 2015

Frontier Town
6245 E. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Get Directions »

Description of Event:

Home Fur Good Holiday Festival will be held on December 12th, 2015. Hours: 10:00am – 3:00pm

 

castle promotional cover

 

 

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Filed under Arizona, Book Award, Book promotion, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, Dolls, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Publishing

A Cat’s Tale

Did you think that all the time hubby and I have been spending at the shelter playing with the kitties was going to increase our cat count at home?

A lot of people have mentioned that they expected me to bring home more cats.

But nah. I did spring one of the cats, but not for me. My son and his girlfriend saw the photos I had taken of some of the shelter cats and fell in love with an 8 month old kitten called “Precious.” They have a beautiful black velvet cat named Meesker. He’s already two years old–a fact I have trouble processing as it seems he was just a little kitten a couple of months ago. The kids decided they wanted Precious as a little sister to Meesker.

Meesker headshot

Meesker

So I sprung the little sweetie two weeks before I would be seeing my son because the cat room had become so crowded at the shelter. We had a lot of new kittens and the anxiety level of the “roaming” cats was fairly high. I decided on the spur of the moment to bring Precious home to my house. She lived in my office.

On Monday, hubby and I drove Precious (now called Lily) from Phoenix to California so that Lily can live at the beach with her new mom and dad and big brother Meesker. Lily traveled in a large dog kennel that belongs to my oldest cat Mac.

She was so good the whole six hours, although for the last 1 1/2 she lay face down and it seemed clear to me that she had a tummy ache from the bumpy ride.

Imagine our surprise when we put two very sweet-natured cats together, and they didn’t get along very well. Lily played in Meesker’s favorite toy, his long fabric tunnel, and it made him sad. Lily chased Meesker, and he hid under the bed.

For awhile, Lily lay on the couch and Meesker on the floor, but it didn’t last long.

Lily on couch Meesker on floor

 

Poor Meesker.

June 7 2014

My son is going to get a gate for the bedroom so that the cats can sniff each other without worrying about losing any fur. I’m hoping that my son and his girlfriend will go very slowly in reintroducing the cats to each other. Then they can all live as one happy family.

So, no, I didn’t get a new cat for myself. However, if this works out well for them, there is a sweet black cat at the kennel who has been there far too long. Actually, there are two, but how many will I be able to slip past hubby without him really grasping how many cats live at our house?

 

 

 

 

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Filed under #writerlife, California, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction

Reading to the Kitties

I’m happy to report that the cats at the shelter are fun to hang out with! There weren’t a lot of cats the night we worked because the others, including all the kittens, had been adopted (yay!!!). We were able to play ball with the free roaming (in the cat room) cats. Henry and Bobbette were the big scorers. Four cats were in kennels. I didn’t know why at the time, but I have since gotten the low down. Two of them I could have let out while I was there. I feel bad that I didn’t, especially for the black cat who really seemed to want to interact more with me. The other two are too hard to get back in their kennels, and I wouldn’t have wanted to “go there” on our first visit. The reason two of them have to be kenneled when they are alone is because one of the other cats doesn’t leave them alone otherwise.

Then I read them three stories that were up on my WordPress reader at that time. I looked for story-stories that were appropriate for cats.  No 50 Shades of Grey allusions for these cats under my watch ;). I read “the bingo ladies of old / Tess Tales” by Kate Crimmins, “Hennie Kirstein’s Well” by Amos van der Merwe, and “Does Kindness Matter: My Grandmother’s Legacy of Love” by Kristin Shaw on the Kindness blog. I animated my voice and gently acted out the stories. This was the perfect order to read them in, too. All the cats were enthralled and finally, near the very end, they all curled up and went to sleep–tuckered out and happy.

 

The handsome guy above (even his belly has beautiful markings) is Henry. He’s the king of the room.

 The sweetheart above (she might have a bad eye or is cross-eyed, a bit) is Bobbette. A truly darling cat who loves to play.

The black and white medium-length coat above is Felix. He’s a little shy, but came right out when hubby and I played ball with Henry and Bobbette. He also loved the stories I read to him.

This is the cat room. There are a few kennels along the walls for cats who need to be in there for their own protection when humans are not there or when they are new and acclimating to the cat room. I feel bad that I didn’t let Nakana and Betty out of their kennels, but I wasn’t sure if I could at that time.

Nakana is an all-black beauty. She was so sweet and so desperately wanted me to like her. And I do!

And then Betty might be harder to put back in the kennel, but I suspect she’s like my Tiger, so I am willing to try.

Lest you think Betty is in a small kennel, this is a 3 level townhouse!

I can’t wait to go back. On Saturday, hubby drove the animals who didn’t get adopted home from PetSmart.

For those of you wondering how my dad is doing. He was back at the hospital, very weak, but they got him going again and now he has moved to a short-term rehab facility–very new and nice–and he sounds stronger and happy to be at this place. And guess what? The facility has a dog and a cat!!! 🙂

 Cat lives in the therapy room at my father’s short-term rehab nursing center

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Filed under Arizona, Blogging, Cats and Other Animals, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Photographs