Monday, November 26, 2012

Cats & Shoes --our favorite things

This holiday season, you can do your Christmas shopping and help homeless or sick kitties at the same time.
Do you like shoes?  Electronics? Home Decor? Books? Toys for the kids?

By starting at, pull up our nonprofit Pawsitively Humane, Inc (Miami, FL), when our name appears click on the name, then hit the SHOP button, and shop away.  A  proceed from your order goes directly to the care of our rescued cats, like little Sophie who lost her leg. Oh yes--it's free to register!.

Choose from your favorite retailers like Amazon, Petsmart, Orbitz,, Barnes & Noble and so many more.  What a great way to join efforts and help your favorite cause.

What will you be shopping for this holiday season?

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sophie's leg is amputated

Many of you have asked for an update on Sophie, the one pound kitten rescued off the streets with hip dysplasia. We can't thank you enough for your concern and support for this tiny, innocent creature.

Well, I have bad news but also good news to share. For Sophie's first surgery, we knew it was a gamble on whether it would correct the leg and, more importantly, if she could keep the leg and grow normally. But we had to try.

Unfortunately, she lost nerve sensation in her paw that was she bending her toes at the lower phalanges (knuckles) which is dangerous as her weight would eventually crush those tiny bones.  The vet further explained other complications as her body continued to grow.  There were two options. A surgery to install a fixator that would cost $15,000 (yes that's 3 zeros) or amputation.We are a tiny nonprofit and of course that narrowed it down to one option--to amputate her hind leg.

As a pet lover and working in the trenches of rescue and adoption, I've come across many happy-ending stories of dogs and cats with special needs.  I know they can live long, happy lives, some better than those without special needs.  I was at peace with the decision knowing the right pet owner makes all the difference.  So just four weeks after her first surgery and weighing only two pounds, little Sophie's hind right leg was amputated. 

How is she doing? Well like many cats, Sophie is strong and a fighter.  While she can not walk normally (her back end slumps as she scoots in her hind leg to move forward and her weight distributes to the one leg) I was amazed how fast she runs, or hops I should say. Playing and racing with her brothers, Sophie can hop fast!  (Hmm may have to change her name to Speedy Rabbit.)

Sophie, Luciano, Figaro

As you can imagine, her vet bill was high--a whopping $1,300. Thankfully that bill was paid. But that's only the beginning. There was also her blood test, vaccinations and cost to get her spayed and neutered. Vet bills add up fast.

Actually it's easier than you may think!
Of course, you can make a donation of any amount with credit, debit or PayPal by going to the right hand column under MAKE A DIFFERENCE NOW and click on "Donate" button.

Other easy ways--this holiday season or for your regular shopping, just by making online purchases you can help Sophie or any of our rescued pets. 100% of donations go directly to the care of stray and rescued pets. We have zero paid staff.

If you never ordered pet food from, please give it a try. For your first order, Riverfront Cats will receive $20.  Just click on the banner ad on right hand side.

If your order pet food or any other item on Amazon , we also get a small proceed. Just click on the Amazon banner on to the right, and regardless of what you buy, whether it's pet supplies or home decor or electronics, Riverfront Cats will receive a small proceed just by starting the process and clicking on our banner ad. This is the important part. Always remember to visit our website and click our  Amazon banner ad to begin your shopping.

Pawsitively Humane (our umbrella organization) is now a participant of Adopt a Shelter. For shopping at online sites like  Petsmart, iTunes, eBay, Petco, Lowes, Walmart, Walgreens, Barnes & Noble,, etc. via the Adopt a Shelter website, a portion benefits our shelter. First go to then follow these easy steps:

Step one:
  • Choose a shelter. Be sure to select PAWSITIVELY HUMANE in Miami, FL. When our shelter appears, click on our shelter name.This will take you to a new page and list me (Christine Michaels) and Riverfront Cats as well. (Pawsitively Humane, Inc and Riverfront Cats are the same organization).
Step two:
  • Click the button "SHOP  NOW" and begin your shopping.  It's that easy to shop and help homeless, abandoned and injured pets become healthy, happy pets!

Sophie napping with her brother Figaro (she's wearing gauze around neck.
You'll notice the stitches from where she lost her right leg)

We thank you for your continued support.  Little Sophie is a constant reminder not to get upset over little things and never to take life for granted and to be grateful for what we have--our health, our jobs, our friends and family.

The hardest part awaits us. Finding a permanent home. If you are interested in meeting little Sophie and giving her a home for the holidays, please email us at

UPDATE: Sophie was adopted in January 2013! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Funny Cat Thanksgiving Video

 Enjoy this video of cats giving thanks (because we know they are always grateful, especially rescued cats) and sharing Thanksgiving history. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Eat Hearty and Thank your Blessings!

To view one of the funniest cat videos of all time, CLICK HERE to watch these cats play Patty Cake. With close to 10 million views it's sure to make you smile.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cats Playing Patty Cake

This has to be the  best cat video ever--and the 14 million views proves it. Have you seen this yet? 

I love dogs and have a sweet Maltese but the fact is--dogs don't do this on their own. Cats are just more animated. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sophie undergoes surgery at 1.13 pounds

Sophie recuperating after leg surgery

Sophie is a two- month old kitten that was discovered alongside the Miami River, another stray kitten. She has a bad hind leg and it looks twisted and entirely out of hip socket that she drags her leg around.

Sophie dragging her bum leg

At the vet, we learned that Sophie has hip dysplasia and that her femur and tibia were dislocated.

Sophie underwent surgery at 1.13 pounds to see if the leg could be saved and corrected where she could walk on it. The leg was turned to a straight position. The femur and tibia had to be fused together and a plate was installed to keep it straight. So while she would never be able to bend the right hind leg, we're hoping she can still utilize the leg for walking or as a crutch so her weight does not lean on one side.

The Xrays below are before the surgery.

That's her leg she used to hold straight up in the air.

The bottom leg is clearly twisted starting at hip

Her recovery was quick and she was walking within a few  days and running or really hopping to keep up with her very active brothers Figaro and Luciano.  But she was lifting the leg. Only time would tell if nerves would regenerate or lose sensation.

Kittens and cats are amazing creatures in that they are stoic and will endure great pain with little to no signs.  Their resilience and will to live is even greater.  This is why we go to lengths to help these innocent, homeless creatures who are beyond happy to have a safe shelter, food and affection. Sophie knows we saved her so much that she yells for affection and wants to curl on your lap and have you stroke her tricolor fur.  Her purring rivals that of a humming muscle car. Should have named her Mustang Sally! She is in earthly heaven.

You could be that new wonderful haven and heaven. We are trying to find a permanent home for Sophie. Special needs kittens bring such joy beyond words.  But she doesn't know she's special needs. Sophie runs (in her bunny hop style), climbs and plays like any other kitten.  In the future she may not be able to jump as high which can be a positive.  Please contact us at

The surgery was $1,300 at Animal Welfare Society in Miami, FL on 27th Avenue. A kind person paid off the bill. But other treatments await her such as vaccinations and followup examinations. If you would please consider a donation of any amount to help Sophie,  please go to middle column under Donation Button where you can easily pay with credit, debit or PayPal.  Little Sophie thanks you!

Thank you for reading, thank for sharing, thank you for caring!

Update: November 19, 2012
We knew the first surgery was a gamble in trying to save Sophie's leg. Unfortunately, she lost nerve control and sensation and other complications meant it would be more harmful to her health to keep the leg as her body continued to grow. Therefore, little Sophie, at two pounds had her right hind leg amputated.   We will post a photo, possibly video and a story soon. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Update: January 2013
Sophie was adopted by a resident of the downtown Miami area!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cat Women descend on BarkWorld

Cat Women attend BarkWorld

Last weekend I had a chance to attend Barkworld, a national pet social media conference in Atlanta, GA. While the name leans towards dogs, cat bloggers and writers were welcome--and did we make our meow presence known! Even one hotel staffer wore monkey ears to celebrate with us (see below).
Deb Barnes, Jonathon (hotel staff) Christine Michaels, and Debbie Glovatsky

This was an opportunity to meet a number of companies ranging from pet food retailers, dog nutritionists and trainers, to educators, and much more.  My purpose for attending was twofold. As a blogger my goal is to reach new audiences to educate them about the unique essence of cats and overturn stereotypes and therefore increase the adoption of cats. (Hence the strategic decision to purchase the t-shirt in the photo). I picked up some helpful techniques to improve my skills and approach. 

Second,  I came for inspiration to increase awareness and funding for my nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc which aims to get to the root of the problem of homeless pets--education.  You can read more highlights at  We'll be hosting some giveaway contests on this site!

Deb Barnes and Christine Michaels at Westin Hotel in Buckhead, GA for BarkWorld

BarkWorld was also a great way to reconnect with my fellow cat (and bunny) bloggers, Deb Barnes, Debbie Glovatsky, Vicki Stringham Cook, Kate Benjamin, Ingrid King and Dr. Lori Huston.These are women authors, writers and bloggers that I admire not only for their brilliant work but also their genuine desire to help others.

Deb Barnes as exhibitor for her book Chronicles of Zee and  Zoey

We had fun after the serious business

Animal welfare education and rescue and blogging is a tremendous amount of work. Starting a nonprofit meant foregoing vacation this year but I was more than thrilled to combine work and a little fun at this important conference while reaching goals--giving a voice to homeless pets.

Join me just by following this blog. Register your email on the right hand side. We promise we don't scratch, share your email or inundate you with emails.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Review of the FURminator

by Alexa Campos

Well I finally did it. I took the plunge and went for the gusto in my battle against furrballs gone wild.
I got the FURminator, a pet hair deshedding tool.

Hmm interesting-looking contraption. Reminds me of a modern hybrid between sheep sheers (or what I imagine sheep sheers to look like) and oversized shaving razor for humans.

With six cats and a dog in a small house, the fur is everywhere. I love pets but draw the line at my home- turned- jungle pet hair.  The goal is when strangers walk in, they have no inkling that I have six cats (seven is the new crazy cat lady limit by the way).  You see I vacuum my house DAILY, religiously.  It makes a difference for my sanity, my border-line obsession to have a clean home, and my husband's allergies to pet dander.

Now for victim, I mean tester #1--CJ (Curious Jorge). Those round green trusting eyes--aah little does he know until I whip out the FURminator. His eyes widen. A toy? His paw extends to touch it...Then I start scratching his head to distract him while I take the first FURminating stroke. YIKES--that's a lot of fur!   Did I do it right? Did I hurt CJ? No worries, he was fine and seemed to want more. Frisky fella.  Instructions?  Silly me, I misplaced the DVD that came with it when I ripped open the plastic packaging.

Curious Jorge--tester #1 of the FURminator

I was amazed at the amount of fur and visible dander! I had never seen the dander on any of my pets except for Darth Vader who's jet black hair is speckled with dander towards his lower back where obviously he can't lick there.

After 8-10 strokes on one cat

But what about preventing hairballs? Well I FURminated Bella who's always grooming herself and appears to cough up more hairballs than the other cats.  But then I realized she's licking her belly and legs. Can I apply the FURminator to the tummy? Where are those darn instructions?

 I decided the best way to test the efficacy of the FURminator was to use it consistently for two weeks on each pet.  Bottomline results:

On the plus side I was able to reduce my vacuuming to every other day. That's huge.  Now you're probably calculating it takes as much or more time to FURminate six cats as it does to vacuum an entire house. Well you're right. However, the vacuum is the monster and cats scamper under the beds (unless you're Darth Vader and he observes with laser precision and eery calm from his perch--a bed, a suitcase..).  So this means less appearances by the monster a little less anxiety. For me vacuuming daily has caused severe tennis elbow and further complications.  So I would rather spend that time bonding with my cats ironically with a tool that rhymes with the Terminator, and at the same time remove excess fur and dander.

Another plus: I didn't tell my husband and FURminated during the day while he was at the office and sure enough he commented that his dependency on allergy meds has lessened. This was the best news of all!

Now in terms of hairballs I can not say with certainty that it alleviated the hairballs as I was reluctant to FURminate the belly region or towards the genitals where most pets lick. 

I highly recommend this product if you have cats or dogs.  Consistent use makes a difference.

Now the price. When I visited my local Petsmart it was $49--ouch. After some online research I discovered that retailers such as AMAZON offer it for 60% less!  Click on this link to get yours for about $14 and free shipping. (This one does not include the DVD but you can visit their website for instructional help.) PLUS, if you order through the link above, our nonprofit receives a small percentage so you are helping your pets and our homeless pets find homes!

What do you think? Have you tried the FURminator? Click on comment below and share with us!