Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Benefits of Cats as Pets on Telemundo TV

Christine Michaels black cats blind cat foster kitten
Christine Michaels in the green room of Telemundo TV studios in Miami
holding foster kittens Ray Ray and Rocky

Today was a special day in fulfilling the mission of education. Christine Michaels along with another volunteer Suely Caramelo, in answering a broadcast request by the Cat Network, offered to bring foster kittens for the live taping of a segment on Telemundo, to feature a new kitten playground by Catit, a manufacturer of variety of pet products.

playground for kittens
The Catit Senses Circuit

Suely's foster kittens gladly demonstrate the new Catit playground

This was also an opportunity to speak to a nationwide Hispanic viewing audience, alongside a veterinarian to discuss the benefits of having a cat and how they differ from dogs as pets.

Christine Michaels live nationwide television in Spanish
Diego (Telemundo anchor),  Marta Sanchez (Veterinarian), Christine Michaels, Jon Salas (PR rep for Catit)                         on Un Nuevo Dia (Telemundo)

Christine Michaels as the spokesperson for cat adoptions 

 Christine was introduced by Diego and asked why to adopt a cat over a dog and the benefits of adopting a cat. She shared that first when adopting a cat, not to think of them as a rescued pet but as a new family member. Adoptions are a commitment for life.  This is important as many people fall in love with the cuteness of kittens (and puppies) but later lose sense of responsibility when the pets are older and drop them off at shelters, adding to the epidemic of homeless pets.  It's an important decision.

Christine Michaels playful kittens cat adoption

Christine brought her latest rescue kitten, Ray Ray, a blind black kitten to show that cats each have their own personality. And while Ray Ray was born without eyes and will never see, he still acts like a kitten and is not hindered by his blindness. 

blind kitten black cat
Ray Ray the latest rescue kitten, rests calmly on Christine's lap and faces the camera during the taping.
We are very proud of little Ray Ray and amazed to watch him use his other senses in guiding him. As Christine spoke he automatically faced the camera. When she finished and Diego started speaking, Ray Ray automatically turned to face him.  He was so calm. After that day, we knew Ray Ray would make a great therapy cat in visiting sick children or elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

Ray Ray, using sound to guide him, faces Diego when he speaks.

(On a quick wardrobe note, we want to acknowledge that yes, next time Christine will wear a brighter contrast top so the black cats stand out and do not blend in.)

Jon Salas explains how the Catit playground appeals to
the nature of cats as hunters, climbers, crawlers, scent-driven
The key points shared were:

- Cats, while more independent, can also be very social and affectionate
- Families with children should have a cat as their first pet. Cats do NOT cause asthma or allergies. On the contrary, having cats around  young children, can help reduce the chance of acquiring these debilitating conditions.
- Cats are very clean pets. They groom themselves. 
- Kittens are good for young children, because kittens are active and playful and entertaining. This bond  helps children to respect animals.
- It is better to keep pet cats indoors but they still need exercise, as we all do. The Catit playground incorporates all the simulations for feathers, scratchers, obstacles to climb, and moving objects.

Christine Michaels and Jon Salas
At the end of the program, Catit donated the playground and toys to the Cat Network. Thank you so much!!!

The segment was aired live nationwide and provided an excellent opportunity to address the Hispanic audience and reinforce long-time science about cats (not readily available in many Hispanic countries) and overturn many myths that still persist.

Thanks to Telemundo and Catit for the joint effort and fun and enlightening segment. Thanks also to The Cat Network for their commitment and dedication as a long-time organization in addressing the stray cat population in Miami-Dade County.

We look forward to working with Telemundo on future segments to further educate the nation on the latest cat science and cat adoptions to reverse the rate of homeless cats in the U.S.

Below is the segment that was aired on May 17, 2017 in Spanish.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Progress Report on Blind Kitten Ray Ray

blind cat Miami Riverfront Cats cats for adoption
Blind kitten, Ray Ray soon after he was rescued at 10 weeks of age

Our latest rescue kitten has a name--Ray Ray, yes after Ray Charles.

He was taken to the best feline ophthalmologist in Miami, Dr. Karpanski. Sadly Ray Ray was born with a defect, no eyes, that he will never be able to see. But that does not stop this kitten from acting like a kitten! He can run, play, climb, and jump down.  It is amazing to watch him move around and play like any other kitten.  Blind kittens rely on their other senses.

We want to thank every person who played a role in saving Ray Ray and donated for his vet care. This year has been one of the worse stray kitten season, with hundreds born and found and not enough shelters and volunteers to bottle feed and care for them.  This blind kitty was spotted in Little Haiti (Miami) and posted on Facebook for pleas to rescue him. Riverfront Cats was tagged after a couple of days and we stepped in.

Christine Michaels blind black kitten
Christine holds Ray Ray, blind black kitten

Ray Ray had minor health issues for which he has been treated. He did test negative for feline Aids and Leukemia and is ready for adoption!

blind cat black kitten cats for adoption
Closeup of Ray Ray, blind black kitten

However he bonded with another rescue black kitten of the same age.  Him and Rocky are like fraternal twins.  They play together, sleep together, and eat together in unison.  Therefore we will only adopt them out together. If you are interested in meeting these special black kittens, please email us at 

You can follow their progress on Facebook and Instagram!