Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Tough Times, Inspiration is Near

by Christine Michaels

During this election season, we are often reminded of tough economic times  in terms of job loss, struggles to pay bills, affording medical care...

As a victim of corporate layoffs more than once, the rollercoaster was no joyride, especially as a single female I never depended on anyone to survive. Like the Miami summers, I had periods of sun and prosperity followed by dark clouds and difficult times  Thankfully I have the most incredible mother who taught me that hard work, faith and appreciating the simple things in life, will lead you to greater things-- accomplishments you may not have imagined.

It's often those things which we take for granted or don't fully understand or appreciate that give us the strength and power to overcome obstacles. It happened for me and others.

What does this have to do with cats, you wonder? Good question. True stories of despair turned triumphant motivate and inspire us.  Therefore, I would like to recommend to pick up a special book  The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey.

This is the story of one woman, Deb Barnes, who lost her job. But her hardships were a string of them that started years before.  However, Deb found the silver lining in this dark period that propelled her to where she is today that she  is now a highly respected author and blogger.  It's just a matter of time before talk show giants like Ellen DeGeneres are knocking on her door.  Would this have happened had she not lost her job? Perhaps not. Her inspiration--her cats Zee and Zoey! Who would have thought!

Erma Bombeck meets Seinfeld Show

 The story itself is an inspirational and heartfelt account of  Deb's life with her furry felines, the invaluable lessons they taught her, and the love story between Zee and Zoey. Deb writes with the humorous style of the late Erma Bombeck, combined with the uncanny ability of Seinfeld Show – turning the everyday nothing’s of life into an incredible story about something! Discussing  real topics as divorce, moving, home renovations, and unemployment, anyone can relate to her trials and tribulation. 

Not to mention, the book comes beautifully wrapped with leopard tissue paper and a gorgeous bookmark that makes a great gift for any cat lover in your life.

 I highly recommend this book! And if you say you're not a cat person, you will love this book even more! Deb also had many dogs and you'll follow her journey from dog owner to Cat Woman! You will smile, cry and laugh and laugh some more. 

To order your copy of Zee and Zoey, click her. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sweetie & Berrie

Two loving, black cats lost mother to ovarian cancer

Sweetie & Berrie are in empty house and need new home

"My mommy is gone. The house is empty.
My brother and I are alone and scared."


UPDATE:  November 2012 Sweetie & Berrie have a new, loving home. A happy ending for two black cats.

Sweetie & Berrie are two black, declawed cats that lost their mother, Marlene Ristine,  to ovarian cancer. She learned about it in November of last year and after fighting a tough battle it metastitized to the liver and she recently passed away this month.

Sweetie & Berrie are by themselves in now in an empty house, without their mother, and without any furniture. Their anxiety is growing. Soon they will be without a home. A kind angel is visiting and feeding them daily but the house is now up for sale.  The clock is ticking for these two gorgeous black cats.

Sweetie is about 7-8 year old fluffy cat. She is a sweetheart and welcomes scratches on the head and will snuggle with you.

Sweetie waking up from nap in her favorite chair

Berrie is a 5-6 year old male who loves to be petted and to play like most active boys.  Especially with any toy with a string.

"Where is everything? Where's my mommy?"

Both cats have been around dogs in the past. Sweetie & Berrie are litter trained and declawed.  They are wonderful pets and companions.

Marlene was an active volunteer in many ways, after retiring as a nurse. She volunteered at the police department, for the March of Dimes and tirelessly helped the Cat Network. She rescued many cats and dogs and found them homes. Now it's time for the community to give back to Marlene.

Please share this posting with all your friends. To meet Sweetie & Berrie, please contact Eli Ristine at 305-978-0388 or 305-443-8473. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

20/20 Kitty Cam Segment

  20/20 segment "Kitty Cam" one-sided 

Falsely portrays pet cats as serial killers


This past Friday, 20/20 (an ABC news program) aired an hour long segment called "The Camera Doesn't Lie" with various topics. One segment was called "Kitty Cam" where cameras were affixed like collars to outdoor pet cats to track their activity. At first we thought this was going to be light-hearted and show cat musings and antics.  However, for cat educators like myself, the final report was far from comic relief. It highlighted cats as serial killers.

Sadly, the segment was grossly misleading. The reporter interviewed George Fenwick, the president of American Bird Conservancy (ABC). According to George Fenwick,  cats are responsible for the extinction of 33 bird species (but couldn't name two in prior interviews) and for killing 1.2 billion birds. Just last month that number was 500 million. George--why the big jump in one month? Maybe George has had one too many Cat Nip-tinis. (Or maybe he needs one!)

The program showed some cats attacking and killing birds. Yes cats are instinctive predators. But pet cats that are well fed killing mass birds? Not at all! What the program failed to clarify is that in one week, 55 cats  killed 5 birds.  ABC (the bird group) has yet to conduct and publish scientifically reliable studies about cat activity on the mass declining bird population. Other reliable studies have scientifically proven that declining bird populations are due to urbanization, pesticides, acid rain, pollution, and other causes.

Unfortunately, 20/20 failed to conduct any in-depth, professional research nor did they interview any cat experts. Therefore the story was one-sided and not well balanced.  Many of us work extremely hard to overturn misconceptions and educate the public about cats. But when segments like this are ill-reported, it sets us back. Therefore, we need your help.

Please sign this petition requesting ABC news to report the facts about cats and a well balanced report

Also, please share your concerns directly with ABC News through their online form.

Thank you for helping to educate residents across America and make a difference!

Here are helpful links on the subject:
Alley Cat Allies issued a press release on the 20/20 segment.

Peter Wolf (Cat Man) of VoxFelina is the outdoor cat expert when it comes to studies.Peter judiciously reads, studies, examines every study, press release, journal...every medium about outdoor cats.
  Aug 6, 2012 Kitty Cams and PR Scams
  Aug 7, 2012 Kitty Cams and PR Scams BINGO
  Aug 9, 2012 More Kitty Cams and PR Scams

Disabled Vet Passes Away



We often say, "I'd like to give back to the American men and women that serve in the military".  Indeed they give up so much and ask for nothing in return. How can you help? Well if you love pets, here's how.

Sadly a disabled veteran, Beverly,  has passed away. She had 12 cats and a service dog.  Therefore, as you can imagine, we are working hard to find homes for them. The good news is that six cats and the service dog have new homes. But now we need to find homes for the remaining six cats. Because Beverly was home all the time, the cats are very affectionate.

Below are the names of each cat and a description. They are current on all shots and are micro-chipped. The cats are located in ORLANDO, FLORIDA. Please contact Ruth Labrie, (407) 855-9417 or (407) 744-4189.

Please consider adopting an adult cat. There are many benefits: they don't tear up your home like kittens and you know their personality and temperament.

Joy and Jesse are sister and brother and were bottle fed by Beverly since they were kittens. They are very attached to one another and the goal is to keep them together. Both are very affectionate and want  lots of attention.

Joy- 5 years young; a gray tortoise shell

Jesse- (Joy's brother), 5 years young; all gray

Hope is 4 years young and loves to eat treats (as you can see below) and loves to play.

Hope, gorgeous black kitty

Morris is a handsome, white and orange cat. He's 2 years young and loves attention and to be groomed. His favorite activity is to play with running water.


Mr. Weebles is 3 years young and loves people, attention, and lots of affection. With a name like that, he could be your new butler!
Mr. Weebles

Onyx is another all black cat and he is 5 years young. He had throat surgery as a kitten and when he meows, it sounds like a whisper.  Onyx he's a big boy like Morris and they are best buddies and play together. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about these special cats. Veterans need our support even after they pass away. Let's help their families, fur families, just as they served our country.

Monday, September 3, 2012

International Cat Video Festival

Can you believe the first ever International Cat Video Festival was a worldwide sensation?! Of course we know! 

The camera just loves cats with their agility and flexibility prowess, endless antics, and extreme intelligence. It's no wonder they are a digital and cultural phenomena that is shared a million times over--more than celebrities. Sorry Justin Beiber.

Hosted in Minneapolis, MN at the Walker's Art Center, one of the nation’s most prominent institutions of contemporary art, this was the first cat film festival dedicated completely to cat videos.  The idea for the festival was born from an an associate at the museum, who suggested it early this year as a sort of joke. By spring her bosses came to believe that it would be a good fit with the Walker’s Open Field initiative, which calls for experimental public programming, often free, on the lawn. From its inception to its closing credits, this was an online meme made flesh (and fur).

The submission process went viral with 10,000 entries within a couple of months. Even the number of attendees doubled their projections and over 10,000 attendees packed the lawn of the museum, spilling over onto sidewalks across the street. 

As the panel of judges narrowed down their list of winners, they soon learned that some cat finalists had agents. Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are the more famous online cats. LilBub was surrounded by photographers and fans asking for pawtographs.

Who were some of the winners? No surprise that Maru, the cat from Japan, known for its affinity of cardboard boxes, walked away with a Golden Kitty award.

Below is the winner of the  People's Choice award  "Henri, Paw de Deux" 

Our friend and fellow cat-advocate, Katie and Glogirly (Katie is the Cat, Glogirly is her owner's nickname) received an honorable mention for Real Housecats Season 2; Episode 2 

Katie is a witty and sassy kitty. She's fast rising to cat stardom. Be sure to follow her and view her other videos! Katie--we hope you'll remember us average cats.