Check out yesterday’s post to read all about it.
May the remainder of the journey be safe and there be more love than you can imagine at journey’s end!
Check out yesterday’s post to read all about it.
May the remainder of the journey be safe and there be more love than you can imagine at journey’s end!
Today I am doing something that I’ve never done before: I am helping to transport two older cats from a foster home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to their forever home in McAllen, Texas. The trip will take two days with the cats spending the night in Mobile, Alabama. Sera and Chloe were two of twenty cats that were surrendered to a shelter. You can read their story here in a post at Your Daily Cute.
I have always been ambivalent about long-distance transports. On top of the trauma they have already faced, they are now going to be transported for two days with multiple changes of persons before they end up at their forever home. I cannot help but wonder why go to all this trouble? Are there no cats available for adoption in Texas? Don’t get me wrong; I am happy these cats will live.
What kind of home will they move into? With long-distance transports like this, I wonder how you can truly vet the family that will take in cats in this manner. Will they go into a loving, forever home? Or are they the latest acquisition of a hoarder?
And then there is the cost. If I were to be paid for this service, it would cost around $212 for my leg of the journey (if paid at my regular rate). That would buy 8 spay vouchers at the low-cost clinic in Panama City. Which is the more prudent use of funds?
So why am I doing this?
-Because I’ve never done anything like this before and now I will be able to say that I have.
-Because I believe that with all the positive energy going into this transport, good things will come of it.
-Because, in the end, I believe we each have our path to walk, and I feel this is a part of mine.
So while you are out and about this weekend, think of those of us transporting these two ladies to their new home, and offer a prayer for them to have a happy and healthy future.
Oh Dog! Today I have a special treat for you! Bernadette Kazmarski is a wonderful artist who finds inspiration in her cats. On her blog, The Creative Cat, she showcases her work, as well as her photography, poetry, and of course, her feline family. Help me give a warm welcome to Bernadette!
Rumpy: Thanks so much for being my guest today. Tell me about your art.
Bernadette: My first solo show was entitled “The Extraordinary in the Ordinary”, and I think that’s what my art, whether it’s painting, poetry, photography or even graphic design, is all about, finding the beauty in everyday life and sharing that with others.
Rumpy: I like that! I agree there is beauty in the ordinary, if only we stop to notice. So how did you get started as an artist?
Bernadette: I’ve sketched all my life, starting with the bare crabapple tree in the snow on a winter day using one of my mother’s No. 2 pencils on probably one of my mother’s index cards. I took regular art classes all through school and didn’t study art in college, I have a BA in English because I wanted to be a writer, though I took a few basic drawing classes.
Rumpy: Wow! So what made you decide to use your cats as models?
Bernadette: After college I had a job with crazy hours and I decided I wanted to start sketching again since I couldn’t do much else with the odd hours, so I got my pencils and drew from photos but I wasn’t happy with it. I kept visualizing drawings of the family of cats I lived with then, and once I began drawing them it all came together and I realized, for me at least, I have to have a great depth of feeling for my subject in order for my art to work. I moved from pencil sketches to pastel paintings, when others saw them they wanted one too and this led to my commissioned pet portraits.
Rumpy: I love it! And it sounds familiar. It was Jen’s furry family that is her muse to write. So tell us about this wonderful family of cats of yours?
Bernadette: Right now I am down to five cats from a typical household of nine or ten after 30 years of rescuing and fostering. It’s a little strange when I used to have the most cats of nearly anyone I knew, and they were nearly all cats I’d picked up off the road or pulled from a dumpster or wheedled off of someone who was neglecting them, all with great needs but also great rewards. None of the cats who “got me where I am” as an artist are with me any more; the last two left with Cookie and Kelly earlier this year and with them went the last of those who knew me when.
Rumpy: I’m sorry to hear that.
Bernadette: Now this family of five black cats is quite special. The mom, Mimi belonged to a neighbor who did not spay her despite my nagging, and Mimi had six litters, all four kittens, nearly all black kittens. The neighbors brought me the kittens nearly each time to help them find homes, and one black kitten from Mimi’s fourth litter ended up not being adopted and staying with me. I was caring for four geriatric cats at the time and I would lose them all in the course of a year. Lucy was nearly a year old at the end of all the loss, but then she developed effusive FIP and died at 15 months. I knew her mom was expecting again, so I asked the neighbor for the mom and they just gave her to me. These five are part of an FIP study at UC Davis veterinary school, and I had kept them all for their first year to observe for any symptoms. They are five now, Mimi is about 8, and there have never been any symptoms. (read more about it here).
Rumpy: Wow! I had no idea! How wonderful they are still with you, and that they have done so much to help other cats live longer, happier lives! Bernadette, if people want to check out your work, where can they do that?
Bernadette: Depending on what they want to look at they can go to my main website (www.bernadette-k.com) and click on “fine art and portraiture”. Many of the other links on that home page also lead to artwork and I’d encourage people to explore. Visit The Creative Cat for daily photos and daily sketches plus articles about my cats and my art, and also visit Pinterest for an easy way to browse.
Rumpy: I hope everyone does, because you truly have a way of creating the beauty that is a cat. Just don’t tell June Buggie I said that. Now, last question, if you was a dinosaur, what kind would you be?
Bernadette: I have no idea! We have dinosaurs all over Pittsburgh because of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and all they’ve done to identify and learn about them, but I’ve never pictured myself as one. Maybe one of those little ones.
Rumpy: I’ll bet you’d probably be more like a prehistoric kitty! Thank you SOOOOO much for being my guest today!
All photos and artwork posted today is the property of Bernadette Kazmarski, and was used with permission.
Oh Dog! I’m back with Emily Schneider, Senior Manager for Media and Communications with the ASPCA. Yesterday we talked about how the ASPCA gets involved in helping during a natural disaster. Today we’ll get more in-depth with what that involves. But first, here’s a video of an actual Staten Island rescue!
Rumpy: Emily, yesterday we talked about the weeks of planning that went into preparing for a natural disaster response like you launched for Hurricane Sandy. Let’s talk about what it takes to get people actually out there responding to help animals in need.
Emily: The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has an incredible team of staff and volunteers who are available to deploy at a moment’s notice. The team also had a extensive network of response partners—other animal welfare groups and agencies—who have sent their responders to assist us in large-scale disaster responses. There are too many groups to list them all here, but just to give an example, the ASPCA was able to help more than 1,300 animals displaced by the Joplin tornado last year with the assistance of 89 agencies from across the country who sent responders on the ground.
Rumpy: That’s a lot of animals helped! Now tell us what happens with the animals when you rescue them?
Emily: In disaster response operations, we focus our efforts in reuniting lost pets with their families, or offering temporary sheltering so pet owners can focus on getting back on their feet without having to stress about caring for their pets. It’s hard to provide a percentage as every response operation is different. For animals that are not reclaimed by their owners, the ASPCA helps to find placement for the animals.
Rumpy: And who pays for all of that?
Emily: More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and rely strictly on donations. The ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services.
Rumpy: It’s sure comforting to know that there are so many people out there that are dedicated to making sure us animals are taken care of. Why does the ASPCA do all this?
Emily: Founded in 1866, the ASPCA is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. Our mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.
Rumpy: Emily, I am simply amazed at all the hard work that goes into keeping us safe. Thank you so much for being my guest, and thanks to all the hard-working men and women of the ASPCA and their partners who help us in times of crisis.
Folks, the ASPCA has responded after other disasters as well. You can find more information about those responses here. For more information about how you can be prepared in the event of a natural disaster, check out this informative checklist. There is still much to be done to help animals affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you’d like to help, here’s some info on how you can.
All photos and video was shot by ASPCA staff and is used here by permission.
We take it for granted these days that when disaster strikes, there will be trained animal rescue volunteers on the ground helping to rescue and care for the displaced animals. But what does it take to launch such a major effort?
Today I’m talking with Emily Schneider, Senior Manager for Media and Communications with the ASPCA. She’s here to shed some light on what such an undertaking involves.
Rumpy: Thanks so much for being my guest Emily. Let’s start at the beginning. How does the ASPCA become involved with a response effort?
Emily: The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team assists animal victims of both natural and man-made disasters throughout the country. The team is made up of investigators, veterinary and animal handling experts. The team has been called in to assist in the event of natural disasters, but is more commonly called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescues.
Rumpy: Wow! And how do you get involved in these rescue efforts?
Emily: The ASPCA is typically contacted by the local agency for assistance and we then deploy responders to assist with animal rescue and relief efforts.
Rumpy: So you don’t just decide to go in without being called. How long after you get the call do you expect to be involved in a rescue effort?
Emily: We really don’t have an average; the length of each response operation varies as it is determined by the community and its needs. For example, we were in Joplin, Mo., for 45 days following the EF-5 tornado that decimated a third of the community.
Rumpy: I remember! What services did you provide there?
Emily: We assisted with field rescue, reunion efforts, emergency sheltering for lost pets, and eventually finding new homes for orphaned animals that were not reclaimed by their owners.
Rumpy: That sure is a lot of work!
Emily: We have currently been on the ground for more than six weeks planning ahead of Hurricane Sandy, and now focusing on the emergency boarding facility that we established a week ago to assist pet owners and temporarily shelter their pets until they can get back on their feet.
Rumpy: I can only imagine how much planning has to go into such efforts!
Tomorrow, Emily and I will talk about what it takes to make these rescue efforts happen!
NOTE: All photos posted today were taken by staff of the ASPCA and were used with permission.
Oh Dog! It’s only FOUR more days until Christmas! I am SOOOOO excited!
My friend Brin from Shackleford England is so excited too…. or he was. Read his letter to Santa, followed by a footnote.
My very dear friend and fellow Boxer, Themba, died a few months ago. Before that, he was quite poorly, and we didn’t have as much fun in the garden as we used to.
I have been a good boy, kind and gentle to my Mum and Dad, as we all mourned the loss of little Themba.
Yesterday, we went on a long trip in the car (and got a bit lost). When we got there, we were greeted by the loveliest lady who gave me a drink of water and a romp in the sheep field. After that, she brought George to meet me. George is a 2 year old Lurcher, who was rescued as a stray in the Republic of Ireland. He was going to be destroyed, but the good people at The Dog’s Trust took care of him and brought him to England.
Thank you, Santa, for helping my wish come true in time for Christmas.
Mum says she will introduce George to everyone once he is settled in his new home.
In the meantime, please pray for George to find another wonderful home, and that next time the rescue group won’t blow it for him.
OH Dog! Am I ever so excited! I have two special guests who came all the way from Australia to be here today! They also live with one of my biggest fans!
I know you’re on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what they have to say, so without further ado, I introduce Bella and Beary!
Rumpy: Thanks so much for being my guest today! Who do you guys live with?
Bella and Beary: We live with our mumma and our little (non-furry) sister Bubba in Sydney, Australia. Mumma says three kids are enough for her right now, but we think Bubba may come home with a kitty under her sweater one day soon!
Rumpy: I hope for your sake that doesn’t happen! So Bella, what’s your story?
Bella: I am a rescue mutt. Someone dumped my dog mumma and my 3 brothers in a big box on the side of a very busy road. I was only 2 weeks old. One of my brothers has gone to doggy heaven, and my dog mumma and other two brothers were all re-homed. I was quite sick and my leg had an operation and I got so sick that I nearly died. Mumma really loves my leg scar, she says it’s a reminder of my horrible start in life and how far I’ve come.
Rumpy: *sniff sniff*
Bella: Mumma spent a lot of time back then looking on doggie rescue sites and getting very sad that she didn’t have her own puppy. But then she saw my photo. She has a thing for ears. Dog ears that is. And tails. And all other bits as well, but she says it was my soulful eyes and big beautiful ears that did her in.
Rumpy: The eyes have it! And Beary?
Beary: I came to live here with mumma and Bella three and a half years ago. Mumma was looking on rescue sites and other places helping a friend of hers look for a puppy to rescue. I think she may have said “oh no” out loud as soon as she saw my photo. Oh no because she wasn’t really looking for another fur-ever friend, and oh no because she fell in love with me instantly. She says it’s because I looked like a fluffier version of Bella – and look how well that turned out!
Rumpy: Oh Dog! How cool is that!
Beary: Anyway, as much as her love for me was instant, she had Bella and we would have to meet. Mumma’s not too sure where I started life, but my lovely original family (who I’m still Facebook friends with!) got me from a pet store – which mumma shudders every time she thinks about – had to go back to live in England urgently so my sister (a very nice cat named Wolfie) and I needed new homes.
Rumpy: How sad!
Beary: Wolfie found a home quite easily, but no-one seemed to want a beautiful looking (if I do say so myself – but you can say so too, just look at our photos) 6 month old Alaskan Malamute x Golden Retriever. Mumma came to spend time with me a few times before she finally caved in and decided I could live at her house. That was three and a half years ago. I think she knew that she was always going to be my fur-ever mumma, but just in case Bella didn’t want a silly little brother, she probably had to say that!
Beary: I have a lovely family and I am a very lucky dog. I wish all dogs who needed to find fur-ever homes could find one as lovely as mine. And have a beautiful big sister like Bella. And a lovely little sister like Bubba.
Rumpy: You are two very lucky dogs indeed! Now one last question: If you was a dinosaur, what kind would you be?
Bella and Beary: We had a chat to our aunty about this, because she has always loved dinosaurs. Bubba looks a lot like our aunty did when she was a bubba. She lives with our uncle and our fuzzy cousin, Barker the labradoodle. Barker lived with them in Chicago and New York before he came home to live in Sydney. Anyway, our aunty said that was so strange that we should ask this exact question because she and Barker had been talking about it the day before! She thinks all three of us would be Brontosaurus – because they are the loveliest, friendliest dinosaurs!
Rumpy: That is awesome! I wanna be a cookiesaurus!
Thanks so much for being my guests today guys!
Meow! Malachi Kitty here to share with you my Gratitude Week post.
I have much to be grateful for. When I came to Rumpy begging for help, I was so thin that Jen thought I was a female kitten. Little did she know I was actually a neutered male that was 8 years old. Today I am fat and happy, and I never miss a meal! Jen laughs at the noises I make while I’m eating.
One thing that amazes me is that humans have so much, but they often don’t seem the least bit grateful. They’re worried about their rights, about their money, about their happiness, about their future. Me? I have learned that the secret to contentment is to be grateful for what I have Now.
I have lived through times when I had nothing. I might one day again find myself in that predicament. But in this moment I have enough food to eat. I have water to drink. I have a warm, safe spot to rest. I have love and companionship. For me, that is more than enough reason to be filled with joy.
Dear human, what part of this week holds more sway with you? Is it a big meal? Or sharing time with family and friends? Is it Black Friday madness or in having everything you need?
It’s all in your perspective.
The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. ― Oscar Wilde
I am sad that many people and animals are in need after Hurricane Sandy. But I am heartened to know there are many people available to help!
Shelters were available for animals, and there are many folks out there now helping people care for their pets in the storm’s aftermath.
Want to help those organizations who are helping us animals? Great! Here’s just some of the groups that need your money:
Text ANIMALS to 20222 to donate $10 to Humane Society Disaster Relief Fund or text PREVENT to 25383 to donate $10 to help the ASPCA’s animal rescue efforts. You can also donate through their websites.
American Humane Association has its Rescue Rig in operation. You can donate to support their efforts through their website.
PetSmart Charities is assisting relief efforts. You can donate when you make an in-store purchase or through their website.
Best Friends Animal Society has disaster relief workers assisting locals in New Jersey. You can donate to their disaster relief team here.
The Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City NJ is still without power. The animals are safe, but they do need supplies and volunteers. Check out their Facebook page for more info.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping!
Oh Dog, not again! Monday’s back and nobody’s happy about it!
I am especially unhappy. Ya see, my Gotcha Day is this coming Saturday, and NOBODY seems to remember! *pouts*
There’s no party plans.
How could this be happening to me?
I feel so all alone.
So…… could anybody spare a cookie for a guy that’s so sad?