Animals & Hurricane Harvey

When I started hearing about Hurricane Harvey on the news earlier this week, my mind immediately went to, “The animal shelters!” Humans are smart enough (usually) and able enough to get out of the way of hurricanes. But what about the animals in shelters?

I did a bit of Googling for animal shelters in Corpus Christi but I didn’t find much. Luckily, North Brooklyn Cats posted a video about all the work that Austin Pets Alive! is doing in Austin. They’re taking in animals that are living in places that are in the path of the hurricane as well as reaching out to the community in Austin to find fosters for their animals so they can take in even more animals. You can donate through the link above. The minimum donation is $10 and who doesn’t have a spare $10? Every little bit helps.

Then while putzing around on Twitter after finding APA, I found the Austin Humane Society, another no-kill shelter in Austin. They are also taking in animals and they’re in need of supplies so I picked something off their Amazon Wishlist and you should, too (if you can).

So, if you can afford it, I’d definitely recommend supporting these two organizations. I hope the animal (and human!) death toll is as low as possible during Hurricane Harvey. Be safe if you’re in it’s path!

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Cat Camp = Best of Times

I went to Cat Camp on Sunday to check it out, buy some stuff for my cats (er, me), and see Jackson Galaxy’s keynote. Little did I know that about 15 minutes after I arrived, Jackson Galaxy himself came out to his foundation’s table to sign pictures and take photos with people. 

When it was my turn, I thanked him for all he does and shook his hand, took a photo, and then asked him as briefly as I could what I should do about getting Ares and Playbill to get along – since Playbill had started to treat Ares like prey. He asked a few additional questions and then told me that they’re not ready to be in the same room yet and to keep feeding them on opposite sides of the gate until they can eat and ignore each other. I shook his hand and left, elated, since I had no idea I’d even have the opportunity to talk to him.

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So cool. He was the nicest. 

I bought lots of toys for the furmonsters, donated some money to various organizations, purchased some cat wine from Apollo Peak, and bought a tank top with a meditating cat on it that says, “Meowwwwwwwm” with the literal Sanskrit translation of it below made by Squirrel Den Studio. (I mean, I obviously had to buy this t-shirt.) I also saw a talk with Lil Bub and her dude. To be honest, I’m not really familiar with Lil Bub, but I know more now, and she’s the most chill little cat ever, not to mention adorable. The Kitten Lady was there, too! But I also learned about some amazing stuff going on in the cat community that I wanted to share:

Littleman_Mika: A kitty who was born with a cleft palette. Her human is raising awareness for special needs cats.

The Cat Rescuers: A documentary about volunteers who TNR in Brooklyn. Look for it in 2018!

Kitty in NY: In-home cat caregivers! If you’re moving, or renovating, or need to travel, this is an organization that will come to your apartment and take care of your kitty. Awesome idea, since most cats don’t travel as well as Lil Bub!

Catnip Nation: Another documentary in the making, this one is about how cat videos have taken over the internet. Cosign that. 

My Cat Kyle: A big black and white kitty named Kyle sat in a harness on the table for this organization. Kyle was a kitty who once witnessed a murder in his home, so this organization is about the pets that get forgotten in the midst of domestic violence and how to help save them. 

Only Maine Coons Rescue: A 9-month old Maine Coon say on the table of this organization and she was BIG. She was bigger than Playbill and this Maine Coon was only a kitten! You can obviously decipher what this organization does. 

The Paw Project: This is an organization that was collecting signatures in an effort to get New York State to outlaw declawing. I gave them whatever money I had on me. 

Polydactyl Cats: This is an awesome cat toy company that make toys for cats that “think outside the mouse.” I bought soy sauce and duck sauce packet catnip toys for my cats. LOVE this company. Their toys are amazing

Square Paws: This is an awesome cat furniture company. They’re currently working on making NYC apartment-sized cat furniture which is great because all of their stuff is way too big for anyone’s apartment. 

The Dancing Cat: This is “art for the moderately crazy cat lover.” They’re really fun photos and I would’ve bought one but I couldn’t find a tuxedo or brown tabby cat photo!

There were many others which you should totally check out on Cat Camp’s website. This was an awesome day and I can’t wait for next year!

Lil Bub and her dude.

Lil Bub!

The 9-month old Maine Coon kitten!

Jackson Galaxy’s key note!

Snow Day!

I honestly don’t know anyone in the city who loves a good snowfall like I do. I mean, obviously it’s ideal to be able to sit in your apartment and watch it fall, rather than commute to work in it, but I love it regardless. All you need is a good pair of boots and you’re set. It gives you an excuse to go buy (or make!) hot chocolate or extra coffee because there is no better time for hot chocolate and coffee than a snow day. 

I am currently sitting in my living room watching some light, but consistent, snowflakes fall from the sky while my cat sleeps on the windowsill and I’m trying to decide whether or not to go to a yoga class at 11am. I’ve been trying to let my strained knee heel for the last week and a half before teacher training starts (on Monday, OMG). Shockingly, constant yoga classes weren’t helping, so I took Friday off and my knee is feeling a bit better (it hasn’t been in excruciating pain, just extra sensitive). 

Annnnnnnd I think I’ve just talked myself out of going. Thanks, blog and free-writing mind. I’m going to do some light flow and stretching in my apartment before I go to help to administer a survey at In Transit’s matinee (90 minutes, no intermission!). It should be an interesting piece, or at the very least it’ll be different.

And I hadn’t planned on it, but Anjellicle Cats was at a loss for a volunteer tonight so my bleeding heart for cats said yes, so I’ll trudge back out in the snow later tonight to play with some cats that are waiting to find their furrrrever homes. (Have you adopted a cat lately? If not, I seriously think you should.)

In the meantime, get a good pair of boots and enjoy your snow day. 

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Baby’s Second Vet Trip

A week or so ago, Playbill was due for her routine rabies vaccine and a general check up. She’s a middle-aged cat (9!) so it’s important to make sure she’s healthy as a horse. And I’m a paranoid cat mom, so it’s better to have a doctor tell me she’s all healthy rather than someone else. J had bought her the BMW of cat carriers, a soft one, so it was a bit easier to get her in this time and it had a zippered part on one side so he could pet her while we were in the cab on the way to the vet.

She meowed the entire way there but not nearly as painfully as last time. She wanted nothing to do with the catnip and treats they gave her, as usual, but she was a pretty good patient. They said she looks fantastic for a 9 year old cat and is very healthy. They added that she’s pretty well behaved for a cat that was adopted into a new home only 8 months prior. That makes me think that she still has personality traits that I have yet to see, which is kind of fun to consider. 

Playbill was a bit tired for the next couple of days, which is normal after shots, but she’s back to herself now, racing around the apartment like she has to still hunt down dinner. 

I really just wanted an excuse to post these photos, though. Because she is the cutest. She hopped up onto the windowsill in between different doctors and nurses examining her. Always looking for the highest place to perch. Typical cat.  

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The Newest Family Member

No, I did not rescue a kitten. I wish. But my parents did and I got to meet her when I was at their house on Sunday for Rosh Hashana. Meet Dani: She is 7 weeks old and she was found with two siblings underneath a dock on Long Island. I bought her a couple of toys – including the one with the feathers that she’s playing with up there. It’s a motion-activated toy that makes a tweeting sound when she moves it. She loves it but my parents will probably not thank me for introducing it into her life. Whatever. Playbill has one, too!

She’s very sweet and will run around and then promptly fall asleep on you or whatever she can reach that’s soft to land on. She does a mean Firefox pose already, right?

But, seriously, I want to rescue a kitten. Someday

Because I’m crazy.

I emailed the woman who I first corresponded with from Anjellicle Cats (the organization that I rescued Playbill from) on Sunday. Playbill has been doing this annoying thing where she meows for attention (not for food, she always has food in her bowl) between 5-5:30am most days (weekends are her favorite). I get up at 6am during the week so I don’t mind it so much, and she doesn’t do it every. single. day. so it’s okay. But on the weekends it can be a little annoying. 

Hence why I emailed the rep from Anjellicle and asked why she was surrendered. I hadn’t asked when I was adopting her and I was a little afraid to because I might find out something horrible. I asked if her previous owners died because sometimes she meows just until she gets a response – so it’s like she’s checking to make sure I’m still breathing. I included a photo in the email to show her how Playbill is doing.

She emailed me back today and said she has cats that meow at 5 or 6 in the morning for food or attention and it’s completely normal. She said it showed in Playbill’s records that her previous owner’s surrendered her so she didn’t think death was a factor in why she was surrendered.

I’m going to assume her previous owner’s were moving and couldn’t take her with them. While this reasoning makes absolutely no sense to me, I’m glad they did or else I wouldn’t been able to rescue her.

Apparently cats can be trained not to meow so early in about 2 weeks, but you have to ignore them. I could withstand the meowing but I’m not sure J could. We’ll see!

Firsts

I finally handled a possible medical issue with my cat calmly. It was a miracle.

On Tuesday night, after I put my cat down on her cat tower, I noticed there was a little bug on my shoulder. It could’ve come off my cat, for sure. It fell off my shoulder and I bent down to look for it. I found out and tried to balance it on my finger and take a photo of it to send to the vet (because I’m crazy). Unfortunately it fell again and I wasn’t able to find it again so I vacuumed the area.

Then I Googled what a flea looked like. It looked like the bug that I had been balancing on my finger. Then I called the vet. 

I calmly explained to the nurse who answered the phone that I had been administering the anti-flea medicine every month, as prescribed. I told her that I brushed her regularly, albeit with the Furminator and not a flea brush, and wasn’t seeing any fleas. And also that I checked the skin on her neck and didn’t see any fleas or flea feces. 

The nurse told me that if I have been giving her the flea medicine regularly, and if it was in fact a flea, it was on it’s way to die and not to worry. She also suggested that it could’ve been something other than a flea. 

I kept checking her neck periodically throughout the night and giving her extra pets. But I was proud. Mostly of myself. For not losing my shit. #firsts

This is Playbill’s “calm the fuck down, human” face.

The Cat I Wanted

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Here she is keeping the package that my jeans came in warm. She’s so thoughtful. 

When I had toyed with the idea of adopting a cat, I thought I’d get one that loved to be picked up, would sit on my lap all the time (even though this would, after sometime, get annoying), and love to have her belly rubbed. Basically a cat that was really affectionate. 

I’m pretty sure I could tell that Playbill was none of those things when I went to have a one-on-one play session with her at Petco before she came home to my apartment. I mean, maybe it was the fact that I was a stranger and she wasn’t doing well living in a box at Petco, or it was just her personality not to run up to you and jump into your arms. But she’d stuck her paw out of the cage at J and I the previous Sunday and she really needed a good home. And she was so fucking cute.

So, I couldn’t say no. And home with me she came.

I kept thinking that was she still depressed when she wouldn’t sit on my lap and always liked to sit on the chair across from where I usually sit in my living room. She usually slept a lot. She basically acted like a skeptical, stand-offish cat. I remember telling my therapist these things and he said, “It sounds like she acts like her owner.How rude! But true. Touche. 

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Cat with sass on her favorite bag.

Almost four months in and she still won’t sit on my lap – aside from the couple of times that I dared to sit in her chair. She came up to me and pawed at my stomach until I got up – shaming me, I guess, to get out of her chair. 

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Sleeping in said chair. 

And she doesn’t love to be picked up. She’s gotten a little better, but she really doesn’t love it. She’ll let me pick her up for a few seconds, to appease me, I suppose, and then she’ll start squirming and jump if I don’t put her down first. 

She still won’t sleep on my bed with me. She’ll lay in the corner of my bed with me while I read and then once I turn the lights out, she’s gone. Her job is done so she can leave, I suppose? There are hedgehogs and fish to be hunted in the living room. Very important.

And her belly? Usually off limits, but she’s sometimes willing to compromise on that. If she’s rolling around on my bed playing with a toy and I start rubbing her belly. About 60% of the time she’ll swat at me, but sometimes she’ll let me give her a belly rub with a look on her face that says, “Okay, fine, just this once. But make it quick. OK, that’s enough. God, the things I do to make you happy.

So, she’s not the cat that I envisioned myself adopting, but she’s the one who won me over and she’s 8 (48 in human years) so I can’t change her. I could torture her and try to get her to act a certain way that I think she should act towards me, but that’ll make her miserable and in return, I’ll be miserable, too. 

So, the only thing to do is accept her for the kind of cat she is. She’s not super affectionate and doesn’t like being picked up, but she’s adorable and I love her, so who she is is just fine.

This mindset also applies to people. If someone isn’t acting the way you’d like them to, they don’t have to change, but you do. Otherwise your attempts to manipulate and shame them into acting how you want will be met with anger and brick walls. I think this is something that a lot of people won’t accept or acknowledge. We’d all be a lot happier if we did though. That’s for damn sure. 

To end this on a positive note, here’s another picture of my adorable stand-offish cat:

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Cool Apartment

I loved my apartment from the moment I stepped into it. I walked in, took one look around, and said, “I’ll take it,” and thus began 6 months of paperwork and interviews. The set up of my apartment building is neat in that every room has windows – even the bathroom (which in New York is a total luxury). What I didn’t realize until last summer (and was reminded of yesterday) is that my apartment stays eerily temperate on hot summer days. 

Yesterday was New York’s first 90* day since last summer and I was worried about my cat. The air conditioners are from the last owners and they don’t work very well. The “temperature control” on the one in the living apparently doesn’t really work at all, so I couldn’t leave that one unless I wanted it to be on ALL DAY. 

To circumvent killing the environment, I put the AC on for the morning while I was getting ready to cool the place down and before I left, I open two of the windows (not big enough so she could jump out, but just enough for air flow).

While I was walking outside yesterday, I didn’t think it was too particularly scorching out but because I’m fueled by anxiety, I was a little anxious. I know cats like the heat and there wasn’t a lot humidity so I hoped for the best. 

The windows in my place face north and east. It gets a lot of sun in the morning and then not much for the rest of the day. This might sound like a downer if you’re a person who likes SUNLIGHT 24/7, but I’m not. The apartment gets light but not all-day sunbeams in the window creating sun patches for the little lion (aka my cat) to sleep in. 

Although my view is obstructed, somewhat, so is the sun. And that’s awesome because who wants to come home to a super hot apartment? No one, that’s who.

But I did order two new air conditioners yesterday anyway, including one smartphone controlled one, because I was paranoid during the day and I didn’t want to have to feel like that again. 

#cityliving