///How Nature’s Gifts Weave Silver Linings

How Nature’s Gifts Weave Silver Linings

It’s all about the essentials.

The air is the cleanest it’s been in decades, swans glide serenely in the clear waters of Venice’s Grand Canal, and in Wales a herd of goats take over the empty streets and gardens of a seaside village. Meanwhile, off the coast of Vancouver, B.C., people have spotted magnificent Orca whales in areas where they haven’t been seen in 60 years. And not to be outdone, the flora is thriving too. In Great Britain, the roadsides are covered with beautiful wildflowers because roadcrews are not mowing these days. The bees are having a wonderful spring!

                                             Photo from the nationaltrust.org.uk

If there’s one thrilling silver lining to COVID-19, it’s the positive effect it’s having on Mother Nature. The message is clear: nature is willing and able to rejuvenate itself. All we have to do is recognize our role for both good and bad and step aside, even a little, and things will improve. Planet Earth has a lot to teach us about hope and resilience.

Here in my little world, lockdown is also having some welcome effects. The emails are coming in like crazy from families who are very eager to bring cats and kittens into their lives during this time. I can’t even keep up with the requests! So I’m so happy to tell you that adoption continues, despite face masks and social distancing.

Five beautiful faces: Bitsy and Pipsy are home!!

Adults Lynx and Wolfie meet their happy new mom.

Adorable Freckle on her way home to Brooklyn:
three paws, no problem!

Social Distancing Adoption!
Delicious Bagel goes home to join big brothers Lennon and Cosmo!

When I’m able to coordinate great adoptions like these…well, nothing makes me happier. But sometimes adoptions hit snags, and that’s when I’m thankful that I’ve always insisted on keeping in touch with all of my adopters. The adoption story of Mama Fifi and two of her nuggets, Sallie Stinker and Koala, reveal why communication and follow-up are so important

Fifi, ready to pop, and the six little sweeties she produced.

Fifi arrived in late January so pregnant that she was about to burst. Just a kitten herself, she gave birth to six (!!!) scrumptious nuggets on Superbowl Sunday, February 2. I was thrilled to be able to live stream their births on Instagram. From the start, Fifi was a patient and attentive mother — some commented that she was a saint! — and her kittens thrived: Dottie, who is Fifi’s spitting image; the Tuxedo Trio, Sadie, Lollie, and Cozmo, the only boy; cuddly Koala Bear; and Sallie Stinker, because, well, she is a stinker.

Two by two, they all went home. Left to right:
Lollie and Cozmo, 
Sadie and Dottie,  and Sallie Stinker and Koala Bear.

Then came the speed bump. Koala wasn’t doing well behaviorally in her new home, so after emails and consultations, we decided to do what is best for Koala and reunited her with Mama Fifi. Sallie Stinker is just fine without her sister. In the meantime, Mama Fifi and Koala were adopted together (below) and are doing so well in their forever home, proving that keeping the lines of communication open and honest leads to the best adoptions

Before coming to me, Mama Fifi had been abandoned when her family moved away and left her behind, pregnant and without food in an empty apartment. Today she is loved and living with her kitten, Koala, with a wonderful family. Stories like this give me hope.

My colleagues at North Shore Animal League America are also celebrating an inspiring increase in adoptions, including several long-term felines who have found wonderful homes during this strange time. People seem to be connecting with the power of the natural world by bringing the best of nature into their hearts and homes: Pets!

Below is a Zoom-style gallery of NSALA’s recent feline success stories, all graduates of Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center (BFF). How great is that?!

Left to right: Pom Pom, 4 years as NSALA; Gopher and Meerkat, 7 years at NSALA; Yafa, FIV+ and 2 years at NSALA; Moonpie, 199 days at NSALA; special-needs triple adoption Sonny Boy, Buddy Guy, and Mickey Rooney; and Nicholas Cage, FIV+.

Animal League America is dedicating May to kitten season, and with good reason. Kitten season is always a challenge, and newborn kittens and their mamas, who have been through so much, mean everything to me. I hope you’ll take the time to visit their website to learn more about kitten season and what you can do to help. While you’re there, take a look at the precious newborn kittens and puppies in the nursery, as don’t forget Giving Day, with generous support from Swiffer, on Wednesday, June 10.

As hard this pandemic is for all of us, especially and heartbreakingly for its medical and economic victims, it’s important that we stay focused on the future. That’s what optimism is all about. And in the meantime, I think we’re learning a lot about the word “essential” and what it means in our society and in our personal, daily lives.

For me, these moments are essential. They are my bliss. 
Howard and the Moosh.  A kiss from a Butter Bean.

Stay healthy and safe,


By |2020-06-09T11:26:34-04:00May 12th, 2020|