Monthly Archives: December 2007



Deeeeck da hallz wif grompee kittehz
merararraooooooo marorr meow meowwww
Floffy finks dis costoom’s S*****TY
Meerrewwowororoooww meearrawoo meow mao
Sharpen we our pointee klawz nao
Mwearrwowreroooo meweroeiruwoiwooooo rao rao rao
Whil we dreem ov owr ravenje nao
Merrearroooo mearrrooo wrroaooo wrao wrao!

(Pic from ICHC and song from Elfi)


Oreo. (Ten years.)

I met a family this evening whose visit to the ARL was twofold. They were getting a new kitten (Mookie) but also had to euthanize their beloved cat, Oreo. Oreo was going to be ten in March and they’ve had him since he was a kitten.

I couldn’t help but to compare Oreo’s situation to Pepper’s. Pepper was dumped at the shelter when his humans no longer wanted him. They decided that, for whatever reason, ten years of his company was enough for them; they didn’t want any more. (

Oreo’s family would give anything for another ten years with him — the first ten just weren’t enough. They’d do anything to make his thyroid work right again and to have his kidneys function. Or even for the seizures to stop.

They all had photos of him on their phones. I was deeply touched to see twenty-ish (twenty-something?) Sean, dressed in ultracool baggy urban apparel, whip out his fancy new phone and scroll through a few dozen photos of his cat, Oreo.

(Sidebar: He told me all about when the seizures started. He was the one home watching Oreo while his Mom, Alice, was on a cruise. The girl, whose name I didn’t get, wants to work at the shelter when she’s old enough. Her friend wants to be a vet, too. She asked tough questions: “Don’t they give him two shots? One to make him sleep and… then the other?” “Did you ever have a cat die in a cage here?”. “Have you been there when the shots were given?” And I gave her straight answers.)

We talked about Oreo a lot while we were standing there. He was nice enough to share the bed with Alice. He stayed inside. And when they lived down the road from the ARL, he took care of the occasional mouse that sought refuge in the basement.

One time, when he was enjoying time on the roof (he go there occasionally for sun and air) he got a bird. He didn’t kill it, though, just brought it inside. Sean had to chase him around to get the bird from him. Oreo took care of his family, just as they took care of him. Right until the very end.

While we were talking, Alice touched my shoulder and said “I want you to meet Oreo. Do you want to meet him? He’s still here, in the lobby.” I’m so thankful she shared him with me, even for a few brief moments. Oreo may have been in the lobby, but he’s also in four people’s hearts. I’m one of them.

Bye, Oreo.


Pepper was a recent addition to our never-ending family of cats waiting for forever homes. His previous human had him for ten years, since kittenhood, but left him with us due to her new husband’s allergies. He was a nice cat, sweet and gentle, and loved having his velvety grey fur stroked.

I got this email today from a fellow volunteer. She wrote:

“For those of you who have spent time with Pepper, the velvet grey
senior cat who was living in a hallway cage, He died this morning.

“He seemed depressed when I had him out yesterday, so I went to check on
him again when I was dropping off fosters for surgery this morning. He
still seemed pretty down. I took him out and held him while I was
dealing with the vet techs (he obviously wasn’t going to jump and run)
and waiting other small things in the waiting area. When I went to put
him back in his cage, he seemed short of breath. Carol took him into
the clinic and he died soon after.”

I’m thankful and happy that she was there with him at the end. I’m glad this seasoned gentleman was able to experience one final bout of love, one more soft pet, and one more cuddle.

Bye, Pepper. I know I’ll miss you, Sweetie.

UPDATE: Pepper’s Petfinder profile: ““Once upon a time he was a fun little kitten who meant the world to his owner. Now he’s just another senior cat that nobody wants. Pepper doesn’t know when he got to be “old” and he certainly didn’t want it to happen. But it does, to all of us. Pepper is a sweet, gentle boy whose world is shattered. He’s a beautiful solid silver gray with light green eyes and he loves to have his beautiful coat stroked and petted.”

Oh Noes!

Fourteen ornaments were injured in a near-fatal drive-by tree assault in yesterday. The suspects fled on foot and are described as a taupe and black male, approx 13 inches tall, and a dusty black female, approximately 7 inches tall. Both were likely under the influence of catnip at the time of the incident.

Catsmas Tree

Maisy loves the Christmas tree. She sleeps under it (all together now: Awwwwww…) and spends a lot of time very close to it. She and Cliff both have sap in their fur in a few places. We don’t have any tinsel or icicles hanging from the tree; the ornaments are tempting enough. And the way Cliff eats things, that tinsel would be gone in a minute. I’d have a festive kitty with a litter box full of holiday spirit. Or the ghost of decorations passed. (Get it?!)

Cliff says: “I’m in ur litter, squeezin out the seezun!”

“List five reasons (at least) why you are awesome.”

This was sent to me a while ago. It’s taken some time to respond because I have been thinking about it. I am personally fairly mediocre, but when I read this, I knew what I really wanted to do was to list reasons why my friends were awesome.

Here you are, in no particular order, and if I don’t list five reasons why you are awesome, it is only because I have been too lax in reading everyone’s blogs with the attention they deserve.

Ruffian706: She has a way with words, both written and spoken. She doesn’t just say something nice, she says something nice in a way that makes you feel good about yourself for the rest of the day. She is an excellent listener. I have had great conversations with her even though neither of us had said a word. She is a great co-conspirator in all things needing co-conspirating and has mad skills with hand tools.

AK: He is awesome because he is my true love. I could list all the ways he is awesome, but I will whisper them in his ear later. I ❤ you, AK.

KristinTracy: She always has something inspirational and/or funny to read on her blog.

Bowman: RD is always good for a laugh. He can flip to his serious side and remind you not to take life so seriously. He is the kind of person you want as a friend. He has multiple personalities in a good way, such that he should be a radio personality or a comedian.

Flugvogel: She is awesome because she absolutely has a heart of gold. She is outgoing and friendly and never ever afraid to be herself. She has a great sense of humor that keeps us all moving forward. She is smart and not afraid of change.

K-I know that-H: She is so cheerful, which is a great thing these days. KH is awesome because she is the soul of kindness. She is one of those people who makes a great listener, she doesn't try to tell you what do, she just understands.

MLE: MLE is awesome because she is honest. She is one of those people who are totally real; what you see is what you get. Very down to earth, in the best possible meaning of that phrase. She is brave and tries new things for herself.

Mippytown: She is very diplomatic and always knows the right thing to say. She is diligent and persistent in achieving her goals. She is one of those people who you can be totally comfortable around, because she is so non-judgmental and sympathetic.

Shona_of_zillmere: Shona’s laugh is infectious and her cheerfulness is catchy. She is smart and resourceful. And she is Australian which pretty much makes you automatically awesome.

CAM: She is a crazy cat lady in the good way. She is the kind of person who doesn't give up when faced with problems and she encourages others to get involved. She is always trying to help others. She is brave.

ET: My bro for life. He is very funny and likes to make people smile. His jokes are never “jokes”; his pranks are rather innocuous. He is the kind of person you can be proud of saying he’s family and a friend. He appreciates beauty and beautiful things.

Brandee1812: She saved the lives of two beautiful kittehs. Anyone choosing adoption is automatically awesome.

JPB2716: He is very down to earth and easy to spend time with. He tells it like it is and his no bullshit way of dealing with things is very refreshing. He is very funny and constantly makes me laugh. He has a wonderful way of applying movie quotes to everyday life.

Nina: Nina is a great reminder that, although there may be time and distance between you, friendship can last a really long time. She loves her family and when you're around, she makes you feel as if you're a part of it. She has amazing love for her children and has her priorities straight in life.