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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Name the Blind, Black Kitten & Give Hope

And here he is...an all black 10 week old kitten rescued from Little Haiti neighborhood. And he's extra special. He's mostly blind. Our first one at Riverfront Cats. Thanks to a teamwork effort by local residents, this kitten will get the TLC and medical attention to regain as much of his eyesight as possible all while living indoors in a loving, nurturing, cage-free environment.

 This little guy needs two things...a name and your help.

blind black kitten Little Haiti TNR
Blind rescue kitten at vet.  Clinging to Christine's shoulder

Put on those creative caps and help us think of a great name to give hope to this survivor.  Leave us a comment below with your suggestions. Click on "Comment" at very bottom of this post.

Kitten doesn't want to be let go.  He knows he has been rescued.


With mating season and many stray kittens multiplying, our funding is drying up quickly.  To help this blind kitten get the immediate care he needs and to see an eye specialist, simply click the Donate button below with your contribution. No amount is too small or too large! 

He's still handsome and special to us.
After initial treatment, this kitty will be ready for adoption. If you are interested, please email us at riverfrontcats@yahoo.com.

 Follow this kitty's progress on Facebook and Instragram!


Rocky Balboa of Miami--for Adoption

Meet the latest Riverfront rescue kitty--an all black kitten named Rocky!

rescue kitten cats for adoption
Rocky at 9 weeks

Rocky was found as a stray on the property, apparently separated from his mother and siblings. He is currently 10 weeks old and has clean bill of health, negative blood tests, and first round of vaccinations.


Rocky is snuggable, loveable and playful. While he initially hides when guests arrive, it doesn't take him long to appear and show off his running, jumping and tackling-of-toys skills. He's very active and would love another active playmate that welcomes his boxing, tackling and other athletic skills.

To meet Rocky, please contact us via email riverfrontcats@yahoo.com.  Adoption fee is $85 and includes food bowl and Cat Guide book.  Located in downtown Miami.



Rocky at 10 weeks

Sunday, October 16, 2016

National Feral Cat Day- Share Your Story and Photos!

It's National Feral Cat Day!



We are grateful for this day to raise awareness of the ongoing plight of homeless cats.

Recent past years have witnessed improvements in educating the general public about feral cats:

  1. Residents taking an interest in helping cats in their own neighborhood by feeding, trapping, fostering, donating, and sharing information on social media.
  2. Launch of several Facebook pages for local communities to network, communicate and work as a team to help cats.
  3. Municipalities starting TNR programs and offering low-cost or free spay/neuter.  

National Feral Cat Day TNR
In showing neighbors what we do, they respond
"It's like a mini National Geographic! Look at that mini black panther ,"says one child.
Love it when that happens! Education working...
Miami may have a high rate of homeless cats, but we are also on the forefront of addressing solutions to reverse this trend.  It's an ongoing challenge. There are good days and bad days.

Christine Michaels feral cats TNR TNRM
Christine confident that sudden disappearance of 4 cat is due to poisoning,
she talks one on one with security guard about Florida law and poisoning of animals.

   Through regular education, communication and involvement, we as a city and country continue to make strides.
 

Christine greets Tabitha with a pet

Tabitha does not wait until Christine finishes serving

Add caption
Incoming...
National Feral Cat Day Romeo TNR TNRM
Romeo smells lunch
Romeo dives into his food bowl.


So be sure to share your stories and photos all across social media of any feral cats you care for outdoors or ones that you helped socialize that now live indoors and bring great joy to your family.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~






Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Helio Needs Blood Transfusion & Prayers


donation Miami homeless pets

Helio, a handsome, big green eyed, gray tabby, is fighting for his life.

One of the first ten kittens rescued by founder Christine Michaels, now seven years old, he is suddenly gravely ill with severe anemia.

homeless cats community cats stray cats TNR Miami
Helio (pronounced "Eh leo") as a kitten at 4 months

Healthy and playful one day, he started to show signs of loss of appetite, lethargy and sleeping in the closet. Three major red flags of a health issue.  Upon examination at the veterinary clinic, the vet observed his white gums. After a comprehensive blood test it showed Helio had severe anemia.  The X-ray did not show any anomalies. So after a Vitamin B12 shot, IV fluid, and some appetizing canned cat food prescribed, Helio was sent home. Unfortunately he refused to eat at home. And after three days he returned to the vet. Further blood tests showed his blood platelet count dropped even lower.  His condition was now critical.

The next day Helio was admitted to the emergency pet hospital at MVS. Miami Veterinary Specialists provides 24 hour pet medical care. Hooked up to IVs and machines, Helio shows no signs of responsiveness, typical for a cat that is afraid of strange environment. He was lying in the corner, his body inward and sullen, eyes suspect, sheepish, and scared at the same time... a quiet living hell. Only when Christine came to visit did he muster every ounce of strength to stand and greet her. She opened the cage and his bowed insistent on petting and head butts.  Helio would not stop crying. He was grateful to see a friendly face.  At the same time he was pleading to get out.  Our hearts were torn as she had to say goodbye, but Christine repeated a familiar phrase "Ill be back, I promise I'll be back." The vet observing shared that Helio understood Christine and it seemed to give Helio hope.  The vet said there is hope for Helio.

 
pet emergency care MVS Miami Veterinary Specialists
Helio cries for affection

A key treatment was a blood transfusion.  According to the vet most pets respond well to one transfusion, however, Helio did not improve with the first transfusion. The vet indicated a second or third transfusion may be needed but not a guarantee he would live.  As each transfusion costs $900 (for all costs related to the treatment), payments must be made upfront at the hospital.  Some families are forced to choose euthanasia when they lack the funds. How tragic!


The vet awaited our answer.  Of course we would try again.  Helio was a survivor, a rescue kitten from the streets of downtown Miami. Money could always be raised. We wanted to set an example that pets as family members, deserve the same respect and dignity of life as human family members.  Money should not determine whether a pet lives or dies if there is a chance he will survive. 





DONATION TO HELP HELIO

So a fundraiser was started to help Helio and to offset the cost of hospitalization and treatments now totaling close to $4,000. Copies of all vet bills are also uploaded.

Visit the YouCaring website. Remember no amount is too small and greatly appreciated!

Or you may make direct donation via PayPal to riverfrontcats@yahoo.com

The heartbreak was becoming unbearable for Christine and caretakers. Helio has many nicknames:
  • Cutie Patooty because of his cute sleeping poses, moreso than his siblings. 
  • Curious George because of his big eyes and curious, baby face.
  • Bocelli after Andrea Bocelli because he literally serenades his pet owner for attention and affection.

Yes, Helio is a very special cat. Sadly his mother Cosette who has been pictured on a number of blog posts and on social media, had died suddenly this summer.  It is strongly believed she was poisoned.  This is just another undertaking, another battle, another part of our mission in educating residents and communities about stray cats and the law against animal cruelty. Helio was her only kitten.  In this effort we fight for all homeless cats who deserve a chance to live out their

You may follow Helio's progress on this website and on Facebook and Twitter.

 Feel free to share his story.

Thank you for sharing! Thank you for caring!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~






Friday, July 1, 2016

Blog Paws 2016


 by Christine Michaels, President of Riverfront Cats


Christine arrives in Arizona and sees her orange crush from last year--Russell!
(Please don't tell Waffles)

BlogPaws 2016 kicked up furballs, desert dust, and a dandy good time.

If you're a first time visitor to our blog, Blog Paws is the leading social media conference for online pet bloggers. Whether you write about your pet in his/her voice, your voice, or about pets in general or as a vet or vet technician or for an animal welfare group, any pet blogger of any genre is welcome to participate to learn how to improve blogging efforts and build valuable connections.

There's so much to cover, that I'll share some of my favorite highlights.  [Read more on our main blog Pawsitively Humane--To Be Posted Soon].  Also we included links at the end of this blog post to view ALL the photos from the conference taken by conference photographer.

Held in Chandler, Arizona (south of Phoenix), this year Blog Paws  was mostly a time for reflection for me. Built on an Indian reservation twelve years ago, the serenity and the amenities of the Sheraton Wild Horse Resort  provided the ultimate escape from the daily rigors of caring for community cats and guiding residents in their efforts to help homeless cats. While I went from humid heat of Miami to desert heat of outer Phoenix, it was still a welcoming break. I enjoyed every minute of the weather and the conference.

Hotel exterior
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark )

Even the hotel lobby with ethereal/spiritual images on circular drop ceiling, boded a sense of tranquility and peace.


Hotel lobby
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark )

Deb Barnes and I ready for our spa treatments

Organizers think of everything from the type of seminars, to a dog park and indoor dog sitting room, to the guest speakers, to author book signings, fun activities like Yappy Hour, Meow Hour, and Arts & Crafts DIY pawties. There is never a dull moment.


Pet Daycare (Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark )





 Once the conference begins, it's nonstop action! BlogPaws recognizes the dedication and effort of pet bloggers and ensures every one feels welcome and special
Christine Michaels, step-and-repeat at the BlogPaws 2016 kickoff

As a seasoned attendee, the main benefit of BlogPaws was the networking and seeing online friends in person and of course all the pets- dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, ferret, rat, pigs...

These furry attendees are obviously used to posing. Too cute!

And every year there is that one pet, dog and cat, that steals the spotlight and captures your heart.  This BlogPaws it was Samson, the long-haired, 12 week old orange kitten.  I so love orange cats. My first cat is orange, Jean Pierre, he's now 15.

Everyone wanted to hold Samson, and his owner and Samson kindly let me.

rescue cats orange cats Blog Paws
Christine Michaels holds Samson


#kittiesontitties
Orange kitties are the sweetest and smartest.
Samson gets cozy.

rescue kitten orange cats Jenny Lewis Pixel Blue Eyes
Jenny Lewis from Pixel Blue Eyes blog


Pets are welcome anywhere from the seminars to the dining room. All the pets are well behaved and well traveled and accustomed to new scenes and interacting with humans and other pets.

This dog belonging to person next to me,  jumped and nestled on my lap. Love it!


The next highlight is connecting with online friends and fellow pet bloggers. Deb Barnes lives in South Florida, yet we see each other more at yearly conferences. Cat ladies never rest at home.

cat lady bloggers BlogPaws2016
Cat bloggers in cat ears, Christine Michaels and Deb Barnes
THE AWARDS
Hard work pays off. After consistent efforts in blogging, following the tips, techniques and trade of the best bloggers, a great feeling is the recognition by industry experts in both the social media and your knowledge of the content.  At BlogPaws 2016 I had the opportunity to attend two award ceremonies.  Friday night was the Cat Writer's Association. If you enjoy writing about cats, offline or online, then you must consider joining CWA!  I never realized how many categories and genres there were for cat writers. Visit their website for more information!

Cat Writers Association Awards Banquet
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark)


Christine Michaels CWA Cat Writers Association award ceremony
So honored to keep Summer company while her mom, Janiss Garza,
has a chance to get dinner and relax.



Congratulations to Janiss for her CWA Award and to Deb Barnes for recognition for her enlightening article on feral cats!!

Deb Barnes CWA feral cats Dusty Rainbolt
Deb Barnes accepting her medallion at CWA banquet
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark)

THE RED CARPET FOR NOSE TO NOSE BLOGPAWS AWARDS NIGHT

 The final night is the culmination of excitement and hard work, the Nose to Nose BlogPaws awards dinner and ceremony. This is a celebration of the best of the best. All attendees are invited to walk the red carpet with their pet on their way to the happy hour, dinner and ceremony.

Kitten and two chihuahuas walk the red carpet with owner
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark)
Carol Bryant and her dog on the red carpet
(Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark)

Then the finalists of the awards are asked to walk at the end. I was honored to be nominated for Best Cause blog for Riverfront Cats.

Christine Michels red carpet BlogPaws social media awards
Award finalists walk down red carpet

Papparazzi Christine Michaels red carpet social media
(I could get used to this)

Christine Michaels cameras red carpet cat blogger
My fellow nominee (Christina) and  Bernard (BlogPaws staff), me

 Of course none of this would be possible without the Founders, the incredible BlogPaws staff and the sponsors. Special shout out to Purina, Natural Balance and Nature's Recipe for their support. It was truly a fabulous event!

Founder Yvonne Divita, Michael Massey (President of Pet Smart), Chloe Divita and founder Tom Collins

Summer hiding from Paparrazi
 (Photo courtesy of Blog Paws; photographer Anabelle Denmark )
This post does not even begin to cover the magnitude and energy of the conference, from the check in, the  social events for mingling, cocktailing and networking, the seminars, meal time, guest speakers, and pet events. I encourage you to click on the links below to view photos from the official BlogPaws Facebook page. 

To view photos of the conference on Facebook:
Day One of the Conference
Day Two of the Conference
Day Three of the Conference

Next year's conference will take place in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Visit BlogPaws page for more information!

*Note: No nonprofit funds were used for this conference.
Most Photos: Courtesy of BlogPaws; Photographer  http://www.annabelledenmark.com/

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Biker Cat Rides the Harley Across the Rainbow Bridge


Owner Christopher Coppola and Biker Cat in California

It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of a celebrity cat--Otto, more famously known as Biker Cat.

While his owner carries a famous last name, (Christopher Coppola is nephew to movie director Francis Ford Coppola and brother to Nicholas Cage), it is Otto who took the Hollywood and family spotlight in the past decade once he was featured in Animal Planet riding a motorcycle with his own jacket and goggles around Los Angeles.  This was his lifestyle, hence the nickname, Biker Cat. The two of them proved, that "Real Men Love Cats". Click here to view video by Christopher Coppola.

On an Animal Planet segment focusing on the physical attributes and nature of Burmese black cats, Otto exemplified their athletic build, the distinct gold eyes set wide apart, short silky coat, and the need to follow their owners.  The Burmese is the cousin to the Siamese cat.



Biker Cat was also the celebrity guest at the inaugural Le Chat Noir gala, the first ever pet charity event in Miami focusing on black cats back in October 2010. The brainchild of Christine Michaels and organized by The Cat Network, Le Chat Noir elevated black cats to overturn misconceptions and myths and thus to increase adoptions of these cats, the number one color of homeless cats.

Biker cat and Chistopher sitting on motorcycle in downtown Miami for guest appearance
adopt black cats shelter cats
Christopher, Biker Cat and Christine Michaels on Harley motorcycle in front of EPIC hotel

Otto wearing his goggles.
Later that evening in the Design District of Miami, Florida...
Christopher Coppola and Otto emerge from limousine.
A fedora hat was custom made for him by
the Hollywood costume designer for Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Biker Cat walks the red carpet.
He doesn't even blink with 300 guests excitedly watching and flashing cameras.

"Black cats are sleek, strong, intelligent and elegant. To demonstrate these qualities we glamorized and spotlighted them by hosting this event in a Hollywood black and silver theme and where young black cats adorned with Swarovski collars, were trained to walk on leashes down the cat walk." shares Chairperson Christine Michaels. "With Biker Cat's appearance, it is still the most memorable and talked about pet charity event in Miami."

Otto: "Are you getting this?"
Otto is loving the ladies.

 To infuse all that is Miami, the event also included bikini models unveiling a new swimwear line. To top it off,  black cats strutted down the catwalk in their diamond collars. To view more photos from the event, click here

Le Chat Noir reached the pages of a widely-read, local magazine. Brickell Magazine features the movers and shakers, leaders of downtown Miami in real estate, fashion, business, and other segments. 

Article in Brickell Magazine.
(To view better, right click on image. Choose Open in New Tab and zoom in)


Le Chat Noir black cats rescue cats charity gala
Jennifer Angel (Emcee & International Astrologist) and
Christine Michaels (Chairperson) Oct 2010

To learn more about the Le Chat Noir event, click here

Volunteer pictured with 6 month black kitten model that strutted catwalk

Biker cat you are a legend and taught the world so much about the intelligence and companionship of cats. Thank you. Ride that Harley motorcycle Otto. Ride over the bridge. Never stop riding, because we will never forget you.

black cats Burmese cats fedora hat