UPDATE: Four Paws Lifeline has released a book of pet stories, told from the point of view of the pet. This lovely book will help raise funds for this organization which provides help for vet expenses. Four Paws and 31 Tales is available from Amazon for only $10 — pick up your copy today and support this wonderful organization.
My guilty pleasure is my love of cats. I have two that I spoil (Jenny and Rameses); I also spend time watching live kitten cams and chatting with other cat lovers. I grew up with dogs and love them too.
Foster Dad John has a new foster—meet Peaches Chutney. She is not a kitten but a beautiful elder calico. At thirteen she (along with four other older cats) was surrendered to a shelter. All five cats have hyperthyroidism, a common condition for older cats that requires treatment.
Adopted by a community
Foster Dad John’s shelter, Purrfect Pals, rescued these five seniors from being euthanized as the other shelter could no longer keep them. Members of the Kitten Cam community raised over three thousand dollars in just a few days to secure medical treatment for these cats.
And now Peaches Chutney (aka “Granny”) has won the kitty jackpot being placed in the home of Foster Dad John. John has a special affection for seniors as several of his own cats fit into this category.
As you can see, cat and human have fallen in love:
Do cats really sleep 16 hours per day?
It’s funny watching the chat that goes along with the live Granny cam: “O! She moved.” “Cute meow!” Obviously not a lot of action from a senior. Cats are reported to sleep some sixteen hours a day. We’re getting a first hand look with Lady Peaches.
Growing mellow with age
Peaches is a cat that I instantly want to scoop up into my arms. Senior cats can be so loving and affectionate. I remember my Noah, standoffish and grouchy most of his life until he hit fifteen; then he turned into a total love. Bacci was a senior I adopted from my late mother’s nursing home and I lost my heart to him the day he tapped me on the arm with his giant mitten paw.
Old is good.
And I love how Foster Dad John’s “Granny cam” brings that point home. This Granny cam is such a wonderful way to promote the idea of adopting senior pets. They have a lot of love to give and want all the love you can give in return.
Old is scary.
Old is good but old is also scary. You take risks getting attached to seniors. They have health problems. They suffer and sometimes they get crabby because they hurt. And they pass away and break the heart you gave so freely to them.
Taking a chance with the heart
Elderly cats. Elderly people. My best friend just turned eighty and I am fifty-nine. Jackie is deep, gentle, loving, funny and empathetic. I can’t imagine my life without her but I know that time will be coming sooner rather than later. I know it’s risky to give my heart away so totally to her but I can’t help it. It’s worth my heart being busted to pieces just so I can be a part of Jackie’s life, even for a short time.
I have been watching the Foster Kitten Cam and share the experience of the community described in this book. It seems to me that different people understand the kitten cam in different ways. Some just enjoy seeing cute kittens. Others learn about cats and fostering. Susan Hoyle Bailey shares my perception of the kitten cam as a force for the good in the lives of all involved. The experience brings out empathy, altruism, and generosity in the viewers, and we learn these qualities from Foster Dad John and from each other. I watch for more than just loving the kittens and cats; I watch because I know this is a community with a positive impact on the world. I would like to think that the goodness shared in the community ripples out and touches the lives of others, even those who really don’t get why we watch and care so much.
Thank you for expressing the goodness of the kitten cam community so clearly, and sharing your thoughts with the world.
I just wanted to let you know that I received my book today. All I can say is….. MARVELOUS!!! This book is a wonderful reminder of all the work and effort John puts into all his fosters. I laughed, I cried. I remembered. The only John left out in his interview is how Dorian flirts with each Momcat. LOL This is great fundraiser for Purrfect Pals. I can’t wait for the next volume. Well done to everyone who was a big part of the creation of this book.
Received my book yesterday and had to look it over on the spot. In a word: PAWSOME! Even if you are not a follower of The Critter Room, the stories about these kitty families, coupled with the tireless efforts Foster Dad John and Purrfect Pals, is absolutely heart warming. I love the fact that you have their early days chronicled in front of you and can the follow them on Facebook to see where they are today. Can’t wait for Volume 2!
What a wonderful book. Foster Dad John and Purrfect Pals will touch your heart.
Double the Donation!
How about buying two or three extra books to send directly to Purrfect Pals so they can sell them in the store? That doubles the donation and exposes more people to the book. Contact Connie Gabelein on the Purrfect Pals website to let her know of your intention and to find out the shelter’s address.
What inspired me to make the book
1. Two kittens – Ray and Arthur (now Ace) – I wanted high quality prints of these two adorable guys:
2. All the wonder fan art:
3. The fan fiction by Jill Pickford and Annie Staats which includes “Over the Bridge” and Ray’s letter to Trillian.
Now I have my scrapbook of memories and many of you do as well. Grab your copy of The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One if you don’t have one yet, donate copies to Purrfect Pals or give some as gifts – Christmas is coming … 🙂
For the many thousands of you who have followed the lives and antics of this mother tuxedo cat and her five kittens online, you know that today is bittersweet. As one chat member dubbed it, it’s “Graduation Day.” Ripley and her kittens will be adopted out to their forever (aka “furever”) homes bringing joy into households in the Washington state area.
It may seem like a waste of time to foster kittens (and even more so to spend hours watching them online). The true mystery and beauty of life, however, lie in these little things. There are countless stories of kitty watchers (who call themselves “stalkers”) finding comfort from the grind of daily life: grief, pain, physical ailments and loneliness are assuaged for a time watching a family of kittens grow and thrive.
There is something very touching about a grown man cradling a kitten in his hands, giving the little tummy the raspberries. 🙂
The commitment of time and resources is far more than anyone could imagine. Especially the emotional commitment.
It’s all very life-affirming. God, I’m sure, would approve.
So on this adoption day I wanted to share the customary goodbye video created by Cherry Martini on http://animoto.com:
But Ripley’s kittens (names coming from the movie “Alien”) have to be the most beautiful of them all. Three are girls, black, gray, white and “floofy” (a “crazy cat person” term) and the other two are boys, both tabbies.
In the course of following the chat room that accompanies the live feed, I came upon a website known as kittenwritten.net. For every 100 words you write, you are rewarded with a picture of a kitten! Writers always need a little push to get going and I thought this seemed like the purrfect opportunity to try it (yes, I know it should be spelled “perfect” but I’m one of those crazy cat ladies.)
White padded paws belonging to a sleek black and white tuxedo cat waded carefully through puddles on the street. The wind was brisk and every now and then water would soak through the fur, giving the cat a chill. She could feel the movement inside of her lower body and knew her time was coming. The bulging of her belly made it difficult to navigate those puddles.
Her eyes black and wide open in distress, she whimpered with hunger pangs, searching for a place to bear her brood.
It was then that a woman in her mid thirties came upon the cat who by now was shivering uncontrollably.
“Oh my, you poor thing!” said the woman, crouching down and extending her open hand to the stray to sniff. The cat shrunk back slightly but the woman was patient, cooing softly, “Come on sweetheart, it’s okay, you’re such a pretty kitty, come sniff my hand.”
After a long pause, the cat leaned forward, sniffing the hand and touching it with her cold nose. The woman remained in a crouch and continued to coo, extending her left hand while with her right, searching her pocket for a treat.
Finding a couple of soft kibbles, she offered them to the cat. Sniffing audibly, the eyes opened wider and the cat pressed forward, taking the kibble delicately into her mouth. The woman pulled out more kibbles and soon the cat was eating a handful.
Drawing back her left hand, she turned it over and hovered over the cat’s head, slowly descending until it just barely touched the fur so wet and cold. At first the cat shrank back but the odor of the kibbles was too much and she remained, carefully nibbling.
“Oh sweetheart, how hungry you are!” said the woman as she reached out again to stroke the head. It was then that she noticed the cat’s true condition.
Searching for a collar and finding none, the woman noticed the movement in the bulging belly. At once her heart was lost in love with that homeless and hungry cat.
Placing more kibbles on the ground, it took but a moment for the woman to take off her fleece coat and wrap it gently around the cat. At first the cat wiggled and shrank back, eyes going black with fear. But somehow the woman’s cooing and the memory of the kibbles was enough for her to begin to trust someone. Instinctively she sensed she must if she and her soon-to-be born kittens were to survive.
The woman gently scooped up the black cat and laid her in her arms, continuing to coo. “You look like a Ripley to me sweetheart,” she said and in a singsong voice, saying the name over and over again. She stood still, waiting for Ripley to relax just a bit, and stroked her head slowly, softly. Ripley began to close her eyes as the slightest hint of a purr rippled through her body.
A woman in her thirties and a half-starved and very pregnant tuxedo cat made their way to a new home where kittens would be born and tens of thousands of strangers from across the world would share in the joy of the new family.