Busy Summer Days
June is a busy month for us animal people. Besides being National Pet Preparedness Month, which coincides with first month of hurricane season, it’s also Pet Microchip Month and, closest to my heart, Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. To celebrate all the wonderful cats in need of forever homes, let me introduce four sweet kitties who, as I write this, are waiting at our Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center (BFF) for families to call their own.
Wherever you live, I know you’ll find little beauties as loving and unique as these at your local shelter. I hope they inspire you to make June — and every month — Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. But if you’re not in a position to adopt just now, think about finding other ways to help cats on their homeward journeys. One way is to volunteer at your local shelter or to foster in your home. The theme running through all of these stories is the power of patient, gentle people to draw out the confident little spirit in even the shyest cat. I believe that you, too, have the power to transform lives!
Lily Allen (H210318) (shown above) has a special gift: She makes people smile. In part, that’s because she’s a brave little survivor whose past made her hesitant at first, but whose weakness for ear rubs and treats always overcomes her misgivings. Lily has recovered beautifully from a leg injury, which our skilled vets at North Shore Animal League America tended to when she first arrived. Now, this gentle house panther is looking for a quiet home and a committed family (with older children) who’ll always keep her safe and surround her with love. She’s learning to trust by watching her feline friends — the best teachers in the world! — so a home with a cat looking for a sidekick would complete her rescue story. Don’t you just love those little tufts of white at her neck and belly? They’re like fashion accessories. She looks like such a girly-girl. BREAKING NEWS: LILY ALLEN WAS ADOPTED INTO A GREAT HOME ON JUNE 6!
Among the wonderful features in BFF are its many quiet oases for cats who need time and space to relax and gather their courage. The next two on my list, Meru and Ward, have taken full advantage of these precious spaces, growing in confidence and trust.
Meru (D48071) (left) was unsure of her new surroundings and struggled to trust humans, which led my NSALA colleagues to believe she’d never received tender care from a loving hand. Time in our quietest space at BFF, surrounded by devoted humans, soon set free the whimsy that had been locked inside this fun, young beauty. Now you’ll find Meru craving attention and playtime from her favorite human pals. Meru isn’t crazy about feline friends, so she needs a home where she can be herself in the safety of experienced hands. She’ll thrive in an engaging, predictable family with older children who can make her feel safe and loved. Have we perhaps offered a few too many treats to win her heart? Sure, but how can anyone resist those imploring green eyes!
When Ward (H209908) (right) arrived at BFF, he was grieving deeply for the loss of his home and family. His caretakers tucked him into one of those quiet corners and gave him time and patience — gifts Ward never received in his previous home. Today, Ward is mixing beautifully with his feline roommates, enjoying life in the comfort of a predictable space with feline friends showing him the ropes. We want Ward to feel confident with his new family and are searching for adults with experience in nurturing the spirits of timid cats. Because he’s responded so well to his feline colleagues, we know that a confident cat in the home will show him the joys of family life.
Tuxedo Mittens (H211190) (left) is looking for a quiet home with a cupboard full of tasty treats. And he deserves it — and more! After being rescued locally from the outdoors, Mittens took his time settling into shelter life. Now he feels comfortable being visited by his human friends and doesn’t mind sharing with his feline buddies. Mittens is a tender Tuxedo who will live the rest of his life safely indoors with a family who can appreciate his love of chasing feathers, his propensity to wallow in catnip, and his fondness of a good long chin scratch. At right is his not-so-subtle approach to saying, “more Churu, if you please.” Those little white mitten paws say it all.
Sadly, Mittens’ time outdoors left him FIV+. But this is truly not a major problem, not at all! I must take this moment to talk about FIV+ cats and how you should not be afraid to adopt them, even if you have FIV- cats in your household. I’ve fostered many FIV+ cats over the years — all of whom interacted safely with my cats — including this spring, when I took in four-year-old Florida Glory.
Her saga began when her “family” put her outside after her FIV status was confirmed. Even after she was brutally attacked by another animal, these people did not allow her back inside. I tracked her down from an IG follower’s comment about FIV+ cats and put out an alert on IG asking for someone to transfer the kitty across Florida. At that point, a great couple (Thank you, JW and Mary!) drove 12 hours from Tampa to Panama City and back, graciously letting the kitty slumber in their spare bedroom. The next day they then drove another three and a half hours to bring her safely to me. The kindness of strangers who become friends … It overwhelms me.
Glory is a gorgeous, lovable fluff with not an aggressive bone in her body. FIV is a feline immunodeficiency virus that is not contagious to humans or dogs or, in fact, any other species. It spreads from cat to cat only through deep bites. FIV+ cats can live long, harmonious, healthy lives with other cats with just a little extra attention. Because their immune systems are compromised, they may contract gingivitis and get sicker faster than negative cats. So catching illnesses early is especially important, as well as taking them to the vet for regular check-ups. Bottom line: Cats like Mittens and Glory deserve to find loving homes, even sharing life with other friendly pets. If you don’t believe me, ask your vet!
Florida Glory’s story in three photos:
Glory arrives with JW and Mary, …
…she’s loved on by lucky me, …
and then the happy handoff to her forever mama.
My heart is full!
So many wonderful people make these rescues reality. For me, none is more important than my husband, friend, and partner, Howard. So with June 19 being Father’s Day, I want to wish him a very Happy Father’s Day. Like all the wonderful pet dads in this world, he brings a special love and tenderness to the beautiful work of rescue.
Howard with our beautiful blind Bella.
P.S. BREAKING BIG NEWS: In a resounding vote of 133-16, the New York State Legislature has passed the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill, legislation that ends the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in New York pet stores. Once Governor Kathy Hochul signs the bill into law, the importation of cruelly bred animals into New York state will come to an end. This is a major win for animals and the millions of people who care about them. I cannot wait for the governor to sign this bill and make history here in New York.
This past spring, my fantastic colleagues at North Shore Animal League America brought nearly 100 dogs and puppies from the miseries of Midwest puppy mills to safe and bright futures in the New York area. Some of these animals came from a commercial breeder who was going out of business. By stopping the flow of animals like these into pet stores in the state, this bill will save lives and end suffering.
P.P.S. Two more To-Dos on June’s list:
No matter where you live, you can join NSALA for our first in-person Walk & Wag fundraiser since 2019. It will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2022, beginning at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park in New York City. If you can’t make the live event, we are also continuing our Virtual Walk & Wag, for people who wish to support our no-kill mission closer to home. Join our national Walk & Wag community and do something positive and active while raising crucial funds for homeless animals who need your support — now more than ever.
Please sign our petition to stop the barbaric Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. I cannot write about this. It is just too much. Please. And thank you.