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Cats have been a part of my life from day one, always rescues and always treated like members of the family. In the last couple of years, Andy and I have had to expand our cat care skills to twice daily blood tests and insulin injections and it’s hard. Completely worth while, but hard. And that was for two people who know a decent amount about cat care. What about people don’t have the benefit that we have? I was talking to one of the ladies who works at our local cat cafe about cats and cat care, and she told us about one of her favorite feline resources The Kitten Lady.
Hannah Shaw is a kitten rescuer, humane educator, and unwavering animal advocate who has dedicated her life to finding innovative ways to protect animals. Her project, Kitten Lady, strives to create global change in the way we perceive and treat the tiniest and most vulnerable felines: orphan kittens.
I spent an entire afternoon binge watching videos on her YouTube channel. So much good information and if you just need a kitten fix? She has plenty of videos of the little ones she takes care of. Let’s be honest – there is a lot of bad in the world and sometimes you really need a story about a really cute kitten that overcame adversity to become a gorgeous happy health fur baby in a loving fur-ever home. Trust me, all the feels.
Super cute and heartwarming, right? If you are interested in supporting Kitten Lady, you can donate to the project here, or you can purchase something from their shop. You can also check out their upcoming events here.
Images from here.
The work week can be long and frankly a little disheartening at times. I was having one such week when a friend of mine shared a video of an artist drawing massively fluffy and fanciful black cats. With a few quick clicks, I tracked down artist Kamwei Fong and Bo&Friends on Instagram.
Meticulous tiny lines are carefully arranged to create these wonderful balls of floof. It gave me a the strange feeling of wishing I could hug these drawings. These inky felines look like they would be perfect for picking up and snuggling. I mean this might just be me, but who doesn’t want to hug something so very, very fluffy?I think I love the images with the whimsical tails the most. My cats habitually chase their own tails and part of me wonders if this is what they see when they are attacking/running from their own tails. Now I’m not saying that cats can fix every bad week… but they can fix a lot, and I hope you enjoy these wonderful works as much as I do.
Images from here.
If you guys have been around this blog for any amount of time, you know that I talk about cats… a lot. I also frequently mention my own cats and their fluffy escapades. It occurred to me the other day that it has been a few years since I last gave you the breakdown of how many and who is living with us now, so I wanted to give you an update on our fluffy horde. We sadly lost two about a year and a half ago and added a new member last December. I am going to try my best to keep this post to a reasonable length; TBH I could probably do a separate post about each of them, but I feel like that might be taking things a bit far. So without further ado, here are my fur babies:
Octavian aka Bunky, Doodle, Doodsie, and Smeagol
The first feline on the list is the oldest member of our fluffy family, Octavian. He and I have been together since I rescued him when I was 18. I was driving home with my mom, and we were at stop sign when we heard the most pitiful meows coming from a nearby tree. Upon further inspection, we found an adolescent kitty hiding in a tree while a large dog paced below and attempted to pull him off of the branch he was sitting on. We chased the dog off and brought the poor little thing home with us. He spent the whole ride in my arms shaking. When we got him home, we realized that someone had tried to burn him. He was missing whiskers and clumps of fur, and I begged my mom to let me keep him because I knew he would never get adopted in his current state. She said yes, and that was that. He has been with me through college and many of my major life events, and he is my main fluffy man. The last few years have been a bit rough; we found out he is diabetic, and it’s been difficult finding a treatment that works well for him. He also hates Andy, which I feel badly about, but it leaves me with all sorts of funny stories. I love this grumpy old man dearly, and I hope to have him passive aggressively torturing my husband for years to come.
Oliver aka Pollie Ollie, Fluffernugget, Bumbersnoot, Orange, and PamplemousseWhile he is no longer the youngest, Oliver is without a doubt the baby of the house. While we were going through the process of buying a home, Andy found himself pacing outside a restaurant while on the phone with our realtor, while I was inside settling up our check. As he paced, a fluffy orange kitty (about four months old) with a tiny green collar emerged from the bushes and rubbed against his legs. By the time I made it out of the restaurant, Andy was off the phone, and he had witnessed the kitty trying to follow other patrons into their cars and one into the restaurant. Based on the time of year, we figured it’d been abandoned by a college student who’d gone home for Christmas break (something that unfortunately happens all the time here). We decided to bring him home and take him to the vet the next day to see if he was micro-chipped (he wasn’t), and by that point, we were completely taken with him so we decided to make him part of our family. This little guy came along at the perfect time in our lives. He grew up to be a magnificent orange floof, who is as sweet as he is willful, and he gave us something to baby when we realized we weren’t going to be able to have children of our own. He is our entitled cuddle bug who demands to be in my arms while I read and Andy’s while he games, and he greets each of us at the door for kisses when we get home every day. Plus, he is a clumsy, flopsy mess that provides us with plenty of laughs and the occasional broken glass.
Stanley aka Pickle, Shadow Warrior, Cheeky Monkey, and Stop Scratching the Wall
When I moved out of my college apartment and started working my first post-college job, poor Octavian was home alone more than he’d ever been. Knowing that I was looking for a friend for him, my aunt told me about a Hemmingway cat she’d seen on the local shelter’s website so I drove over to investigate. The cat had been adopted earlier that day, but I decided to look around for a bit. I fell for a feisty little calico kitten and the volunteer put Gracie and I into a play room to see how we’d mesh; when I mentioned that I was worried about how she’d get along with Octavian, they brought in “Socks,” a low key long term resident to see how she’d do. It did not go well; she was awful to poor Socks, and the volunteer and I both agreed that she’d probably be better in a single cat house hold. While Gracie was put away, Socks and I sat on the floor together. I reached over to pet him and he looked at me with the saddest gold eyes and leaned into my hand. Turns out Socks had overstayed his welcome and the no-kill shelter was shipping him down to Tampa kill shelter the next day to be put down (which I didn’t even know could happen). He came home with me, and as strange as it sounds, chose the name Stanley. Well until two years ago when I started calling him a “cheeky little pickle” which was a delightful turn of phrase I’d picked up from a book I was reading. Now he will only come if you call him Pickle. By far this little guy has been the most rewarding cat I’ve have ever had. He loved Andy from the moment they met; after a year, he started walking around with his tail up instead of tucked under. After a year he learned to snuggle; after two he learned to purr. We’ve had him for almost 7 years and last year he started to meow. I actually cried when it happened. Our scaredy cat turned into a cheeky, snuggle demanding little fluff ball that makes kitty muffins to the beat of songs that he likes and loves to watch TV with us in the evenings.
Alonzo aka Zo, Buddah Zo, Merph, Burt Murphy
We’re not entirely sure what Alonzo’s story is; he just showed up in our backyard one day. He was a bit… well… pudgy so we thought that he was actually a pregnant female. We put out food, but we were wary of ending up with a house full of kittens. He stuck around, we realized he was a he, and eventually Andy started calling him Alonzo, and I was spending my weekend mornings sitting out on the back patio with him sipping tea. We were resigned to feeding yet another outdoor cat (we have two feral cats that stop by regularly) but then there came the night he decided it was a good idea to get into it with a raccoon. The raccoon got too close, and he decided it was a good idea to slap it in the face. Immediately I grabbed him up and slammed our back door. The raccoon had no idea what was going on, and as soon as Zo realized he was in my arms inside the house, he became a happy puddle of purr and snuggle. He is the biggest snuggler I’ve ever encountered; I’ve even had friends come over just because they wanted a Zo cuddle fix. He is also obsessed with Octavian. Octavian is his absolute favorite thing ever, and he spends most of the day curled up next to him.
Fiona aka Fee, Feezer-peas, Squawk, and Princess
Fiona is our newest addition. She was my dad’s cat, and after he passed, I knew I had to keep her. He loved her very much, and I will do my best to take care of her the way she took care of him. It’s been a bit of an adjustment; the boys are all over 7, and she is barely 2. She is loud, demanding, and into everything, but she is very sweet and absolutely adores us. She is right behind Oliver to greet us as soon as we get home, and if you don’t give her kisses and ear scratches, she will stand there and yell until you do. We’ve had to baby proof the house; she likes to shred toilet paper…a lot. We put it in the cabinet under the sink, and she pawed the door open and pulled out. We put it in a metal cylinder under the cabinet, she drug it out, pulled over the container, and worked the roll out. I came home, and there was toilet paper all over the bathroom and she was sitting in the middle of it all and looking quite pleased with herself. I do have to admit, though, it’s been nice having another female in the house.
Did you make it through? I am a bit ridiculous when it comes to my babies, but they’re a big part of my life and love them dearly.
You guys, something really important happened last week – a cat cafe opened here in Tallahassee. The Tally Cat Cafe, to be exact, and as you can guess, I absolutely had to be at their grand opening this past weekend. Heck, we even made reservations to make sure we had face time with the resident cats.
The cafe part of this establishment is on point: plenty of seating (with chairs that look the tiniest bit like they have cat ears) and a bar where you can sip and look into the cat room. The baristas were handling the rush like bosses, helping customers, whipping up beverages, handing out cat ears, and selling merch, all the while chatting with the people in line and making sure everyone was having a good time. I went for a Chai Kit-tea and a croissant (both were great), and my mom opted for a Cat-e Au Lait and a coffee donut (which I assume were good because they were gone in less than 5 minutes). My friends both opted for blended frozen something-or-others and seemed pleased with the results. While we waited for our session to start, we milled around the cafe, checking out the artwork (all available for sale), and peering into the cat room to see which fluffy felines were out and about. After a quick list of “dos and don’ts” and a round of hand sanitizer for everyone, we were allowed into the cat room, which is beverage and food friendly as long as you make sure the cats don’t steal any extra snacks from your plate/cup. It was really hard to keep my “MUST SNUGGLE” impulses in check, but I reined it in and took up a seated position on one of the many poufs available. I sipped my beverage and tried to let the cats come to me. I also may have set my croissant in the middle of the table in front of me to lure the kitties in; I figured if they were anything like mine they’d have to investigate.This snuzzy beauty is Charlotte; she napped the whole hour we were in there and could not have cared less about the noisy, needy humans. I thought she was pretty clever – she had one of the best beds in the place and was high enough up most people couldn’t bother here.
The indifferent calico below is Beatrice; she is chubby, a little grumpy, and full of sass – pretty much me in cat form. She was undoubtedly the queen of the cat room, and while she allowed us to adore her, she made sure that she moved to the next person after a minute or two to keep us from getting to full of ourselves. After watching her work the room, we decided that the single name “Beatrice” simply wasn’t enough for this regal creature, so we started referring to her as Lady Beatrice Wobblybottom of the Tallahassee Wobblybottoms. In all seriousness if I didn’t already have five cats of my own, I would adopt her in a second. Sass respects sass.
While I was wishing I could adopt Lady Beatrice, my friend Cassie was having her heart stolen by this handsome guy. His name is Vlad, and he has one of the most beautiful plume tails I have ever seen. On top of his glossy coat and inky whiskers, he was a HUGE cuddle bug. Loved the ear and chin scratches and even gave me a kitty kiss on my cheek. It will probably come to no surprise to you that Vlad was adopted two days after we met him; we were a little sad that we wouldn’t be seeing him again, but happy that he found a fur-ever home. He and his owner were featured on the cafe’s Instagram page, and she looks like she is just as in love with him as we were.
I won’t go into our interactions with every cat, but I will say that they were all really sweet playful babies. You think having all of those people around would be a bit much, but they were just so excited to be snuggled and make new friends.
Alas, after our hour was up we had to bid adieu to our new friends. I am hoping that I’ll have time to make another visit this weekend.
I am getting that feeling again, that “I might need another tattoo” feeling. This happens every so often, but recently I found myself perusing Pinterest, found some really beautiful cat tattoos, and thought “why don’t I have a cat tattoo yet?” I mean, I am a self professed crazy cat lady. Anyone who has ever spoken to me for more than 15 minutes knows that I am a devoted cat mother; heck at that point, I’ve probably already shown them pictures, but no cat tattoo. I have all sorts of flowers and butterflies, and I am starting to feel like a bit of a fraud. So I did what anyone my age would do and I started adding cat tattoos to my Pinterest list, because why take action when you can productively procrastinate?
In all honesty, I think the reason I don’t have my very own “cattoo” is that I haven’t found the right artwork yet. Some of my college ink is a little less spectacular than I’d like, and I have tried to be a bit more intentional with my selections in the last few years. I will say this particular round of research has pushed me a lot closer. I really like some of the pieces I’ve found that have incorporated floral elements to complement the main feline image. Flowers and cats – I’m sure none of you saw that one coming 😉
All images from here.