Friday, April 24, 2015

Disaster Can Strike Anytime #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but Riverfront Cats only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

It seems every time I turn on the news, Mother Nature's wrath is more constant and furious.
Floods, landslides, earthquakes, brush fires, snow blizzards, super storms, etc.. Even a power outage from technological failure can wreak havoc in a city and its residents.  Remember New York City power outage of 2003?
Helio under the cover. He is scared of howling winds during Tropical Storm Isaac.

Disaster can strike any time and with no warning. This is why it's important to have a Disaster Preparedness / Emergency Plan for your entire family INCLUDING your pets.

After Hurricane Katrina skirmished through Miami, a few weeks later we were hit hard by Hurricane Wilma.  My building did not have power for an entire week which seems like an eternity in the modern world. Neighbors complained and felt trapped, scared with no electricity, no cell phone (cell phones do NOT work during major storms), no hot water, no gasoline to drive anywhere and dwindling food supply for humans and pets.  I elected to stay in my condo building and hunker down. As a native Floridan, I'm a hurricane expert and I WAS FULLY PREPARED for me and my pets.

Here is my abbreviated list:

1. Have enough supplies to last a week. Dry cat food, wee wee pads for dogs, litter, litter bags, lots of water bottles and paper plates and bowls and utensils. It's not a bad idea to line the cat carriers with pee pads in case your cat gets scared and has an accident. Keep a "ready and go" bag for sudden departures.

Pet Emergency Supplies for Evacuation

2. IDs for your pets. Collars, photos of your pets, microchips or tattoos. Print flyers with photos of your pets and place in pockets of the carrier, and your purse. Cell phone batteries fade quickly so technology is not readily available during and after a disaster.  Think basics.

3. If you are traveling: bring their pet beds, something with a familiar scent from home to lessen anxiety.

Jean Pierre posing with glass pumpkin for Thanksgiving on  his pet bed. I bring his bed on road trips.

4. If you stay at home, invest in a telephone landline and old touch tone phone.  Cell phones were down for days, and an old fashion phone and landline kept us connected to the outside world. A huge relief.

5. Invest in a platform bed or bed with wheels.  This is a must for any pet parent in my opinion because it can be very difficult getting kitty out from under the bed. The fire alarm goes off now and then in my condo building and when I smell smoke, I know it's not a false alarm. The cats all race under the bed for refuge. Getting cats out from under the bed is not as challenging because my mattress/box spring is on wheeled frame that I can move the bed, and easily get the cat.  Be sure you have the pet carriers nearby and close all other doors.

One of the best tips I can offer is to let your cats lounge on their cat carrier in the home. I took it a step further and ordered a stroller with a detachable carrier which I placed next to the window. It became the cats' gazing/lounging quarters to watch the birds and take naps. For trips, I just closed the door and attached it to the stroller. Voila!

Jean Pierre gazing out sliding doors at the birds on his detachable carrier

The double decker pet stroller in 2001. My dog loves the stroller.

When Hurricane Wilma struck in 2005, I only had three pets at the time.  I think of all those pets at shelters during and after a disaster. Personnel can not evacuate or go anywhere with hundreds of dogs and cats. Often shelters are overwhelmed with displaced pets.  Thankfully  Hill’s® Disaster Relief Network answers the challenge. 

As an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love® program, Hill's established the first national network to help deliver pet food to shelters and vet clinics affected by natural disasters. In its first year of operations the network delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and vet clinics across the U.S. in response to 11 major disasters from Washington state to Waco, Texas. Hurray for Hill's pet food!!

SPCA of Texas recipient of Hill's generous donation after a natural disaster. 

Shelter pets receive premium food.
They deserve the best like any pet.
So before Mother Nature unleashes her fury in your city or another disaster strikes your home, prepare now.  Comes May 9, FEMA National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day, you'll be ahead of the madness and exhale a sigh of relief.

Have you and your pets been affected by a natural or other disaster? Were you prepared? Share your experience, by clicking on "Comment" below. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stray Cats Need #FoodShelterLove

Johnny Walker a few months after rescue at healthy weight, luxurious coat

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but Riverfront Cats only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Johnny Walker is an all black cat that was dumped in our neighborhood. It was apparent that he was an indoor cat. This cat walked up to me and exclaimed "I don't belong here! I'm an indoor cat that lived in the Penthouse and this lifestyle if not for me and these other cats don't welcome me. I'm hungry and tired...!" No kidding! (Working with both indoor and outdoor cats you learn to speak cat. The same goes for devoted cat parents).  Johnny Walker clearly was missing and craving for #FoodShelterLove.

Johnny Walker the first night he was rescued--scratched, emaciated, discolored

 Johnny Walker was emaciated, scratches visible on his face, and his fur was lackluster, partly brown and black no doubt from malnutrition.  So we knew proper nutrition was the priority to reach optimal health and increase his chances for adoption. Regardless that our rescue cats are sheltered in the home of a volunteer, all cats, especially stray cats, need the best cat food and nutrition.

Johnny Walker falling asleep on his first night indoors after being dumped and abandoned

A big contributor to improving the odds of shelter cats getting adopted is Hill's Food, Shelter, Love Program, which offers shelters the opportunity to offer quality nutrition to their resident cats and kittens.

Whether a cat is underweight, overweight, or malnourished, proper cat nutrition can not only improve these deficiencies but also improve a cat's mood. An excellent choice is Hill's Perfect Weight Formula for your cat and shelter cats. During the Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Challenge, over 70% of cats lost weight when fed this balanced nutrition for ten weeks. Healthy weight and increased energy helps cats live longer, happier lives.

One great success story is that of Stoli who was a plus size kitty and lost 2.5 pounds. That's 25 pounds for you and me!

If you'd like to try Hill's Perfect Weight formula, you can buy both the canned and dry food here, and your purchase helps support the Food, Shelter, & Love program, which is dedicated to cat nutrition and helping shelter kitties find forever homes! A win-win for your cat and shelter cats!

If you have a Hill's success cat weight loss or cat mood-improving story, please feel free to share it with us by commenting below or sending us an email to and we'll share it with our readers and followers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

THANK YOU for the nomination!

Receiving good news is always welcoming in a world of routine and where bad news often outweighs the good.  But recently I was contacted for being selected as a nominee for a social media award for my work in raising awareness and funding for a very special cat--Rogér, the Miami Le Chat Noir.  

Christine holds Johnny Walker, black spokescat for Riverfront Cats

We often hear from actors the honor of just being nominated. Well it's true.  I am beyond ecstatic. My fellow nominees are outstanding bloggers and organizations that are making a difference in reversing the trend of homeless pets. While I have no expectations of winning, my excitement is through the roof. This nomination is the moral support that fuels our motivation when facing numerous challenges. In the world of homeless pets we face many obstacles--limited funding, closed minds, low awareness, etc.. The nomination means that you noticed, and you care! It's everyday folks like you that nominated us, that lights the dark tunnel. It keep us going!

 I've said it many times and I don't apologize for repeating it again. This is the hardest work I have ever done--shedding lots of sweat and sometimes tears (thankfully I haven't lost any blood--I know how to handle feral cats!) with no pay, but it has been the most rewarding experience of my life!

In Miami Dade County a dent is made in the past two years by small nonprofits such as ours (Pawsitively Humane,Inc/ Riverfront Cats) in cooperation with the Miami Dade Animal Services and other nonprofit organizations. Teamwork, synergy is powerful!

There is much more work to do. But we desperately need VOLUNTEERS!  Whether you can temporarily foster a dog or cat, or have a flair for social media, or work a fundraising event, we need you!  It's not a huge time commitment. 

Yes, I will be attending the BlogPaws conference and award ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee this May. The awards ceremony is live stream.  Follow us on social media for details.
Twitter: @RiverfrontCats
Instagram: @riverfrontcats

"Every woman needs a little black cat" ~  quote by Christine Michaels

Rogér, the Miami Le Chat Noir - Part One
Rogér, Update
Rogér is Ready for Adoption!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kittens Search for #FoodShelterLove

Stray kittens strolling in sunrise

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but Riverfront Cats only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Kitten season is upon us and that means shelters will overflow with mews, squeaks and  furry pitter patter. 

That the heat cycle of a kitten is triggered by longer daylight as the day gets longer? Well in Miami, our sun sets later than the rest of the country by an hour later. This also means that kitten season starts early here and neighborhoods, beach areas witness an explosion of kittens.  As foot soldiers for a small local nonprofit rescue organization, we spot them searching for shelter and food.  Their little bodies shivering, their bellies swollen. Adult cats and kittens should bask in the sun and their bellies full of tasty, healthy cat food.

Cats deserve to bask in the sun

At Riverfront Cats, we know shelters alone can not save all the stray kittens.  It really takes a village and the coming together of residents, companies, and families to help in some small way or more. And it's happening through the Hill's® Food Shelter and Love Program.

Stray cats obviously do not benefit from healthy nutrition during pregnancy.  Thus kittens may be malnourished and experience health concerns later in life.  This is why when rescuing the mother cat and her kittens and bringing them indoors, we feed them high quality pet nutrition like Hill's® Science Diet® Kitten Healthy Development. Mama cat will enjoy adult cat food that may include brown rice for healthy digestion, fresh chicken or natural salmon to keep fit and trim. Hill's has standards--quality protein as the first ingredient and no chicken by-products, no artificial colors, and MADE IN USA!  This is very important to us.

Rescuing the kittens and feeding them healthy kitten food is half the work. The other half is nurturing the kittens and finding them long-term homes.  Animal shelters, especially county-run shelters and small nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers like you to accomplish the latter goals.

At Riverfront Cats we have a proven formula for getting kittens adopted within six months or less. But it takes a village, consistency and persistence.  Volunteers are a key role. You can help by:

- Fostering. This is perhaps the most impactful way to help.  A kitten cared for by humans will have an easier time getting adopted.  They are more socialized, confident, playful, loving, etc. Our secret--playing and talking to the kitten like any child.  Kittens thrive with positive stimulation. Petting them, playing alongside with cat toys is a great form of bonding and socializing. Also, by using simple words repetitively, kittens learn communication skills fast.  Adopters are amazed at our foster kittens' understanding of words and commands and how they respond through their own pitch of meows or actions (body language). 

The caretakers witness their unique personality emerge that help us "advertise them" by telling their story.  Stories sell.  This is more powerful than just a cute, rambunctious two month old kitten.  Adopters want to know if their kitty is active, zany, a cuddler, a lover or a cat burglar.   

Bebe, Michael Jackson and Geisha (siblings) all named based on their personality and attributes.
Michael Jackson did the moon walk!

 -Taking high quality photos.  We can not stress this enough.  This is part of the story telling.  A photograph or video that captures the kitten's attributes and behavior like stealing your jewelry or clothes--a fashionista thief!  Yes, one of our rescue cats was caught stealing fashion apparel in the middle of the night.  A tuxedo kitty! No wonder. 

Geisha, a rescue Riverfront cat, was caught stealing clothes from her human mother's closet

-Taking kittens to pet adoption events. Naturally you are marketing the kitten in hopes of getting him/her adopted. But if they are not readily adopted, there is another advantage to this task.  Traveling in a car and interacting with people regularly helps increase the chance that the kitten will easily warm up to visitors in the home or outings.  In some cases you can train your cat to be a therapy cat, an actor/actress cat, a modeling  cat (for movies, commercials, advertisements).  

- Sharing photos and stories on social media and digital technology.  We are all  connected  either via text messaging, email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...pick your outlet and share photos and stories. It's too easy!

At Riverfront Cats we have rescued many stray cats and kittens and placed them in loving homes. On a larger scale, Hill's has provided pet food to over 800 shelters every year.  And you have helped nurture the kittens, preparing them for a permanent home. We rescue, volunteers foster, Hill's provides nutrition.  A proven winning formula. It really works. Let's take it to the next level to reverse the staggering rate of homeless adult cats and kittens.  Join us! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Rogér is Ready to be Your Valentine!

Ladies, Cat lovers, BLACK cat lovers...we have wonderful news about Rogér, the Miami Le Chat Noir.

After unsurmountable odds, Rogér, the injured black cat with dislocated jaw and slashed throat has made a nine- lives come back. He overcame his initial physical injuries only to go into shock and become diabetic. Frail, weak, it was touch and go. But with regular TLC and vet care and monitoring, Rogér has fought his way back and shockingly warmed up to humans, the first time in his cat life.

"What? I can really have a real home? Indoors?"

Rogér's weight is now up to a healthy 12 pounds! Each glucose test is better than the last and he is gaining confidence and now expects individual attention and TLC. He would make a great companion for someone who enjoys comforts of home and quality time with pets.  While he does well with other cats, Rogér will need to continue his special diet. He should do well in a friendly dog household too. 

"Everyday would be Valentine's Day if you choose me"

Rogér grew accustomed to the attention at the vet, along with the poking and prodding. A no fuss cat! So smart he recognized he would be rewarded with adulation after all the testing and needles. He continues to amaze us.

Make this your special Valentine story, and that for Rogér.  That bond and unconditional love that only exists between human and pet.

If you are in the SOUTH FLORIDA area, interested in meeting Roger, please contact Karen Payne at 305-205-4646 or via email at Karen Payne


Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 CatDance Film Festival Winner

You've ordered the wine with cat label, cat nip is safely stashed away, and now for your movie selection in celebration of Valentine's Day, here is the winning video for CatDance film festival.  You're going to absolutely fall in love with  LaFur. Viva le amore!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Please Nominate Riverfront Cats for a Nose-to-Nose Award!

Well it's that time of year for nominations for the BlogPaws 2015 Nose-to-Nose Awards in pet blogging and social media. While trophies are nice, the real benefit goes to the cats. Last year 600 pounds of cat food was donated to the shelters of the winner's choice.  Naturally if we win, our rescue cats would benefit!

The great aspect about these awards is that it is NOT based on a popularity contest for the final voting.  A distinguished panel of professional pet educators, writers, and social media experts serve as judges. However, we do need your help to get nominated! We may be small with shallow pockets but we are mighty and strong (just like cats) and passionate! And we have YOU AS SUPPORTERS! 

Deadline is Saturday, January 31
Click link at bottom of this post 

There are several categories, and here are some suggestions.

Working in the trenches and blogging about stray, community and black cats is the toughest job ever. But it is a labor of love and we wouldn't change a thing! And we ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. 
Please nominate Riverfront Cats for Best Cause Blog.

Rogér, a black cat was injured with his throat slashed.  This is not surprising to black cat lovers. He was an older, street cat with no human contact;  He was the subject of repeated target hits in a rough neighborhood. Until one day, a guardian angel trapped him and YOU came through with your moral and financial support.  A spirited online auction was held during the Christmas holidays to help Rogér.  And his progress is nothing less than remarkable.  His acceptance of human touch is short of miraculous. 
Auction for Rogér, the Miami Le Chat Noir

While working with these cats can be very stressful and we face more obstacles than triumphs, learning the personalities of rescued cats as they are socialized is the fun part. This story of Johnny Walker, and the fact that he inhaled (yes you read that right--Johnny Walker inhaled marijuana!), brings much needed humor and motivates volunteers to keep going. Feel free to nominate any Blog Post for this award. 
Johnny Walker's Scandalous Reveal!

Stray cats, community cats, and black cats, that's our specialty--the most difficult cat cases. We elevate them and educate the public about their essence, behavior, beauty and overturn myths. These photos say it all and more.

Wordless Wednesday- Romeo a Natural Leader (photos of community cats, the Riverfront Cats)

Wordless Wednesday--Callie

Geisha's Birthday (a rescue tuxedo Riverfront Cat)

Sobe, a Supermodel is born (rescue Calico kitten from South Beach)

Other information you may need: 

Name of Creator: Christine Michaels


Facebook page:



Thank you for your generous time and support. Without it, we could not help these cats.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Piper the Black Kitten is Named after Being Rescued from Pipe

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

This story is a purrfect example of a community coming together to save a trapped kitten.

A kitten was heard for two days straight crying underground a Walgreen's pharmacy story in Miami.
Word spread virally on Facebook and local volunteers from  pet shelters, local businesses, and the fire department, all collaborated to attempt to rescue the kitten which was clearly stuck inside a pipe.

In watching the news report, little did we know it was a black kitten!Thankfully the kitten did not have fluid in the lungs or major injuries.  

Another one saved thanks to many good Samaritans. It can be done!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daffney, Calico older kitten for Adoption

DAFFNEY (light calico)
The Monkey, the Diva, the Lover

Daffney thinks she's a monkey and will either reach up to you and stretch her front paws on your leg while meowing or if you don't pay attention to her right away, she will jump on your legs and scramble to your shoulder like a monkey! If you squat to clean the litter and haven't given her enough attention, she will jump on your back and perch on your shoulder, again like a monkey.

This monkey business is an effort expecting you, no demanding you, to give her food or pick her up (the Diva), to pet her and she''ll give you kisses (licks) and rub her whiskers on your chin to say you are hers! (The Lover). She'll also snuggle with you on the sofa and bed. 

Daffney is 8 months old.  She has all shots, tested negative for Fiv and FeLV, and is spayed.  Adoption fee is $85.00.  Adopt her and her foster sister, Sobe for one adoption fee and receive a gift basket with cat food toys, pet care book, bowls, and bottle of Coppola wine PLUS a ModKat litter box.

#GivingTuesday for Shelter Pets

Dear Animal lover,

There is a day of  Thanksgiving, two days for getting Deals (Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Now there is a global day dedicated to giving back. #GivingTuesday.

This is our first year participating as we have chosen this to be the one time in the year to make our appeal and offer you insight as to the needs in caring for stray, feral and black cats. Some nonprofits ask for donations throughout the year. Not here.  Our founder and President has worked at nonprofit organizations small and large and as a donor, she understands no one wants to be bombarded for money regularly.  It is annoying. We think of other creative ways you can help cats through your daily routine without giving a dime.   For a few ideas, scroll to the bottom of this posting.

Our needs remain the same. In order of urgency:

Whether you can foster for a few weeks, a few months, for cats, kittens or special needs cat, this remains our biggest need. We currently have a black cat, Roger,  whose throat was slashed but has thankfully healed. But in the process he developed diabetes. To read more about Roger and his fight for survival, click here. If you are interested in temporary or long-term foster care in South Florida, please email us at

Naturally funding is essential for various needs.

1. The largest expense is to pay vet bills for sick and injured cats. While we do receive a discount, sick pets require several visits and bills adds up fast.  The sooner we can pay those bills, the more cats we can take in and help.  Another regular expense is cat food, litter and supplies (ie. feeding bottles, cat milk)  Friskies is their favorite brand and better than other brands for the outdoor stray cats.  Toys are not a necessity as the cats find fun in regular boxes, a wad of paper, a Q-tip--non lethal household items.  No amount is too small--$200, $100, $50, $20, $10. Simply click on the DONATE button on the right.

2. Cat Traps.  Traps are regularly used to trap feral cats that need to be spayed/neutered, scared or stray cats that can be domesticated or reunited with owner.  Sadly, two traps were stolen that were hidden in bushes to capture a difficult cat.  We need one regular trap and one drop trap. They are listed on Amazon as follows:

Tomahawk Tomahawk Neighborhood Cat Trap, 36 in. Neighborhood Cat Trap - $80

Tomahawk Tomahawk Neighborhood Cat Drop Trap - $127

Feel free to donate an amount to buy the traps or order them from Amazon.  Feel free to email us and we'll provide an address for shipping.

3. Clear storage bins to build cat shelters.  We have a tried and proven method for building cat shelters every six months during the cold of the winter, and the rainy season during the summer. They MUST BE CLEAR in color not solid white as the cats need to see through the bins to survey their surrounding.  They also hide well in bushes. We cut holes on the sides and please do not forge to get the lids.  This makes it easy to remove the lids and clean the inside. With time the shelters need to be changed but it is more cost effective and functional than wood cat houses which are either stolen or the cats do not use.  The cats do use them!!! We currently need six bins.

4. Padding for cat houses. To line the shelters and absorb any water, the cat shelters are lined with the same padding used for children's playroom or exercise gym. These can be ordered from Amazon.  Any color is acceptable. Don't worry about size. We can cut them down. The cats aren't that picky!

48 Square Feet ( 12 tiles + borders) 'We Sell Mats' Charcoal Gray 2' x 2' x 3/8" Anti-Fatigue Interlocking EVA Foam Exercise Gym Flooring (Amazon)


24 Sq. Ft. (set of 24 + borders) 'We Sell Mats' Anti-Fatige Interlocking EVA Foam Flooring-Set of six Multi-Color Tiles-Each 12"x12"x3/8" Thick  (Amazon)

5. Cat food and litter.  The neighborhood cats and rescues are fed Friskies Seafood Sensation (dry) and Friskies canned food (Chicken & Salmon in gravy). They LOVE this flavor more than any other they sometimes fight like kids for seconds. Litter, we use Scoop Away as we found it best for clumping and controlling odor with so many cats. 


That's it! We keep it simple.We operate through volunteers so funding goes to the care of the cats.

We pray and hope you will participate in #GivingTuesday  or any day and help shelter pets. Please select Riverfront Cats as an individual, a family or company effort.   Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Email is best or you may call at 305-771-3163.

From our very small group of volunteers who give so much time and energy, to help reverse the rate of homeless cats in Miami,
Christine, Sabrina, Mollie, Elizabeth, Marta, Christina, Karen

Other Ways to Help Riverfront Cats

Is an app you can download on an Android and iPhone 5 or 6 so that every time you walk (to your car, in the mall, around the block, with the dog...) you can choose Riverfront Cats and a small donation is made directly to us. You pay nothing!

Shop at Amazon
For all of your Amazon shopping, every time you start shopping by clicking on this link, Riverfront Cats receives a small donation from Amazon.  It's that easy!

Thank you for all your support.
From our small team at Riverfront Cats,
Purrs and licks.