National Cat Day- A photo celebration of the cats in my life.

“National Cat Day was founded in 2005 by Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their life for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.”- direct quote from: http://www.nationalcatday.com/about.htm

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Click on individual photos to enlarge them.

Pet Lessons Learned

…continued from “Bunny Blues

Bathroom Bunny

To this day, I do not feel that I wasted time researching the care that is required to own a rabbit.  I gained a lot of knowledge about pet rabbit care.  In fact, I even learned some very vital lessons.  The most important lesson I learned is that I needed to determine what I wanted to get out of the experience of owning a pet.  In order to make this determination, I needed to know myself first.  What were my needs?  Would my emotional needs and physical limitations  have a bearing on the type of animal that I could bring home?  What kind of life could I offer a pet?    I should have defined my answers to these questions before signing adoption papers.

I injured my back for the very first time in 2001 when I was a sophomore in high school.  Thankfully, though, I was fortunate enough to complete my high school education without any further episodes of pain or injury.  However, in 2005 I re-injured my back.  Since that year I have had a slow but gradual decline in the number of activities that I am able to participate in or the amount of time that I can use to accomplish a task.  If I spend too much time sitting, walking, or idly standing, I put myself at risk for injuring my back later when doing something else, such as lifting a filled laundry basket.  In the past, I have hurt my back so bad that the resulting pain has made it nearly impossible to lift my leg to step into the shower or to even put on my socks.  When I still lived at home, there was a period of injury that prevented me from walking down the two full flights of steps to access the living room, dining room, bathroom, and kitchen.  Instead, I had to carefully slide down the steps on my butt  so as not to jar my back when my butt hit the next step.  Upon injury, weeks of bed rest and a lot of crying are inevitable as the pain I feel  resembles that of several people taking steak knives and stabbing me  and my capabilities are reduced to that of an infant.  After I have recovered enough to walk, weeks of only light lifting subsequently follows and my capabilities are increased to that of a kindergartener.  I think it goes without saying that for me a large animal as a pet is out of the question.

However, because of back injuries, I have not worked since 2005. This has given me the luxury that most people don’t have- time.  I have the time to give attention to my animals.  I do not have to pay someone to do it for me and the animals appreciate my presence and constant loving care.

Bunny Butt

I have suffered from major depression since I was in elementary school.  The depression is not so debilitating that I am unable to care for another living being, as might be the case with some individuals.  In my circumstances, having pets works as a form of therapy.  I have to share my attention with my animals.  I have to care for their basic needs, such as providing  food, water, and shelter.  The time spent doing these things is time spent not dwelling on how depressed I feel.  Therefore,  it is beneficial for me to have the types of pets that show they are in tune with my emotions and feelings.

I wanted a pet that would allow and welcome me to show him or her love and affection in ways such as petting, snuggling, cuddling, etc.  and one

Bunny Up

that would reciprocate that love and affection.  Having a pet that needed me just as much as I needed him or her was very important.  Unfortunately, because I did not define this need until after I had brought Pumpkin home, I exposed him to undue stress by taking him away from the shelter for two weeks and then returning him.  I think I chose Pumpkin partially because he was so cute and I wanted a pet immediately.  It would have been wise if I spent more time at the shelter observing the bunnies’ behavior outside of their cages and asking the knowledgable staff more questions about their personalities.  Taking these steps would have allowed me to make an informed decision and choose the rabbit that fit my personality and needs the best.

I learned another lesson and that was animals need time to settle in after they have arrived at their new home.  The pet, though, determines how long this adjusting period will take, but the human can put forth the effort to make the pet’s new surroundings more conducive to the adjustment.  Who knows?  Maybe I would have gotten to see more of Pumpkin’s true personality if he had stayed longer.

Heated Rabbit

In the weeks that followed, I’d occasionally log onto Pumpkin’s petfinder webpage to see if he had gotten another chance of having a fur-ever home.  One day, right next to his picture I saw the words, “Pumpkin-Adopted!

To be continued…

Photo Friday- Rory the SPCA Cat

Rory

 

Me and Rory

 

Last Sunday, my friend Holly and I went to a local SPCA’s open house.  This is the same SPCA that my husband and I found Nigel and Emmy residing in until they found their fur-ever home with us.  Anyway, I had never been to this SPCA’s open house and I just wanted to go and see what all the hype was about.  Free food was made available to the guests, which included pizza from Original Italian Pizza, donuts courtesy of Dunkin Donuts, desserts made by volunteers, etc.  On display were several large gift baskets that guests could hope to win for the price of a raffle ticket- 1 ticket for $1; 3 tickets for $2; or 10 tickets for $5.  There were two gift baskets that contained all the vittles that a dog might find yummy.  Cats weren’t left out as there was a gift basket that contained all the culinary temptations for a finicky feline.  Several guests  chose to bring their canine companions all decked out in their doggie duds.  Whether it was a  brightly colored bandana or a snazzy sweater depended on the puppy’s preference.  Not to be outdone by all the cute canines was a DJ making his presence known with the 80’s super hit by Culture Club,Karma Chameleon“.

My favorite part, though, was when Holly and I visited the cats’ quarters of which I’ve dubbed the name “Cat Room“.  I was lightly treading so as not to step on a tail of an unsuspecting feline.  I wanted to see if any cats approached me first, instead of me forcing my friendship on them.  That’s when I met Rory.  He had been standing on top of a vinyl tablecloth adorned plastic white table.  There were three or four other cats in his company on the table, but he was the only one that gave me affectionate “head-butts”.  Nigel gives me head-butts.  It’s when he gently rams his forehead into my forehead and then twists his soft furry face all round my face.  That’s how I knew Rory liked me.

Of course, I had been thinking of a new name for Rory on my way home and even for some time after I arrived home that late afternoon.  I have a name fetish.  So, I conjured up the perfect name, “Nightly”.  My inspiration?  Well, I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, particularly for her masterpiece, Emma.  There is a handsome character named “Knightley”.  He has the most desirous personality of all Austen’s male leads, in my opinion.  He’s an amiable and courteous gentleman.  So, I dropped the ‘K’ and the ‘E’ to come up with Nightly because this kitty is black as night.

*sigh*  But I didn’t adopt him as we already have two kitties and one dog. However,  I will never forget the day that I went to the Pottsville SPCA’s Open House and met Rory, or Nightly,  the black kitty who gave me head-butts.

Bunny Blues

…continued from “Bunny Business

For me, there was one major drawback to having Pumpkin as a pet.  It was an issue that even with all my extensive research, I had foolishly overlooked.  First, before doing any research, I should have sat down and written a list of things that I wanted in a pet.  The first bullet point would have been “cuddle ability”.  I had a lot of love to give to a pet.  One way that I wanted to demonstrate this love was by holding and snuggling my pet.  Pumpkin, however, did not like to be picked up.  And I didn’t want to force the issue, because a rabbit’s kick is so powerful, that in trying to escape it could break it’s spine.  Therefore, I could not hold him.  To someone else, cuddle ability could be considered a minor issue.  For me, however, it was a deal-breaker.

Rabbits are naturally skittish animals.  They frighten easily and can even die from a heart attack due to fear.  There was one occasion in particular that gave credence to that claim.  I had walked in the “bunny room” carrying a brightly colored plastic sand toy.  Pumpkin was crouched in the back left corner of the room.  Not a muscle was moving.  Even his nose wasn’t twitching.  I walked up to him and set the toy down on the floor right in front of his face.  In an instant, he got up and ran in circles around the perimeter of the room, once or twice slamming his face on the outside of his crate.  There’s no telling just how many laps he accomplished.  It happened so fast that I don’t even have words to describe his speed.  To make the matter worse, I had been standing in the center of the room, spinning myself around to keep my eyes on him.  Looking back, I know that my actions only exacerbated the situation, but I learned my lesson.  Once Pumpkin had finally stopped running at full bunny speed, I calmly left the room knowing that he needed silence and space to calm down.  When I eventually did go back into the room to see him, I told him over and over how sorry I was for scaring him.  I hope that he understood somehow that I felt so bad and didn’t mean to cause him harm.  After that, I would look at his nose to make sure that it was twitching before I approached him.  It is now my understanding that rabbits will sleep with their eyes open, a still nose being the only evidence of their slumber.

Our relationship just wasn’t what I had envisioned.  BunnyPeople had a two week return policy.  So, with heavy hearts we returned Pumpkin to the bunny shelter and received a full adoption refund.

 

To be continued…

Photo Friday- Window Buddies

Can you guess which kitty is Emmy and which kitty is Nigel? Ok, I'll tell you. Emmy is on the left. Nigel is on the right. I love photos of cats sitting serenely on window sills. In this photo, I've captured a moment of peace between the two felines. Usually, Emmy is ready and willing to smack Nigel on the cheek with her paw. Normally, he just takes it like the gentleman that he is. Lately, though, he has reversed his mode of reaction towards his sister by running after her full speed in attempts to pounce on her and hold her as his captive. However, in this photo, let's enjoy the peace and tranquility while we can.

“The Skoob-fest”

After spending his week at our vet’s office while we were on vacation, Skoobie was super excited to see me when I went to pick him up.  He couldn’t get out of that office fast enough!

Once we arrived home and I lifted him from my lap and out of the car onto the ground, he walked right over to the entrance door, put his two front paws on the step and sniffed at the closed door as if to say, “Let me in!”  Usually, he wants to walk around outside and sniff every vertical object, but not that day.  He just wanted to be back home.

Once I carried him up the steps and set him down on the living room carpet, he went ripping through the apartment as fast as his little white hairy legs could carry him.  He was home!

Later that night, he did something really cute.  I had set a plastic bag on the kitchen floor.  It contained the contents of his “necessities” for a week-long boarding- 2 food bowls, leash, written instructions, etc.  I had forgotten about one item, though.  I was standing at the kitchen sink and heard him rummaging through the plastic bag.  I figured he probably was sniffing his food bowls as he is the greatest canine mooch I’ve ever encountered.  Nope.  He wasn’t interested in the food bowls, surprisingly.  He wanted his black poodle stuffed squeaker toy.  🙂  I had forgotten that I sent that with him.  Once he had the toy in his mouth, he turned around and trotted his little Skoob self down the long hallway and into his “room”.  It was one of the cutest things I’ve seen him do.