Author Archives: Jennifer

Meet Snoopy!

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Black Cat Rescue now has its very own Snoopy…not to be confused with Snoopy the Dog. Adorable little Snoopy was dropped off at a local shelter with a case of flea allergy dermatitis and in need of basic vet care, including spay surgery. Snoopy was very scared in the shelter environment, and staff reached out to us to take Snoopy somewhere less intimidating. Black Cat Rescue foster care is a much better place for her to recover and regain her strength while she awaits her forever home. With some good vet care, nutrition and patience (along with a flea-free environment), Snoopy will be stealing hearts in no time!

Meet Our Cats: Nisha

Nisha
Look at that fluff!! Nisha is approximately 1 year old. She has a beautiful, long black coat with a white spot on her chest and striking green eyes.
Nisha was found as a stray during the recent cold snap and major snowfall in Boston. A kind person took Nisha into her home, and we were able to find an emergency foster placement for her. Now that she’s in a foster home, it’s clear that Nisha is used to indoor living. She is litter box trained, likes to play with her toys and sprawls out luxuriously on the bed.  This girl LOVES treats and will eat them from your hands and lick your fingers when she is done.
Nisha was a bit stressed by her transport but (with the help of some treats) she makes friends quickly. She deserves to be pampered and spoiled after her time out in the cold.

Happy Tail: Stella (The Cat Formerly Known as Bailey)

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Lisa recently reached out to us with an update on Black Cat Rescue alum, Stella. Stella is an adorable, loving cuddlebug with an adventurous spirit! She hit the jackpot when she went to her forever home two years ago and has been living the good life ever since. From squeaky toys and little bow ties to exploring the snowy landscape from the safety of a harness, Stella is truly a lucky kitty!

Lisa writes, “After two years with her, I don’t know how we lived without her. She is the sweetest, most adorable cat I’ve ever known… I want to thank your organization for giving us the chance to adopt her and for giving other families a chance to meet cats (almost!) as sweet and cute as our Stella.”

Thanks so much for the update, Lisa! We love hearing about Stella’s adventures with you.

Consider adopting a black cat and creating your own Happy Tail today! Get to know Black Cat Rescue’s cats available for adoption!

Special Guest Post: Parker’s Story; Moving!

After spending the first day in his new home hiding under the bed and crying, Parker quickly adjusted to life in our apartment of four young women and another cat. His new kitty roommate took a little while to warm up to him, but when you have a kitten insisting that you’re going to snuggle together, it’s tough to argue for long.

But as is often the case when you have a group of young professionals living together, things started to change. Some roommates left, new roommates moved in, and every few months Parker was learning to adjust to new people. Then the roommate who owned the other cat moved out, and her replacement was the last straw.

They tell new mothers that the best thing they can do for their babies is to be well themselves – a mom who’s feeling good leads to a baby who’s feeling good. The same has always rung true for me with pets. So when a rather grumpy young woman prone to snapping unexpectedly moved in, it came as no surprise that her cat behaved similarly. And so, we moved.

We moved in with a good friend of mine who, although allergic to him, thought Parker made a better roommate than some of the folks she’d been recently living with. They came to a mutual understanding quickly that if he stayed out of her chair she would give him intense belly scratches, even if she had to run and wash her hands afterward. The extra attention, cozy new couch perfect for cat naps, and absence of another cat constantly swiping at his nose made Parker’s transition to his new home fairly easy, and it wasn’t long at all before he was settled in happily.

Growing up, I moved many times and almost every time with a cat. Here are a few things I learned that helped me move Parker to his new home:

  1. Take something familiar, a blanket or a shirt of yours, into the carrier with the cat, and put it on the floor in the new house so there’s something the cat can identify as his.
  2. Set up the litter box right away, and bring the cat to where it is so he can find it. It sounds silly (I’m going to just show him and he’ll know?) but it’s true.
  3. If he hides, let him. This is all pretty overwhelming. Cats will come out in their own time and sniff around. Let them explore on their own time and in their own way.
  4. Try to change as little as possible at once. If your cat is used to having his toys, his dishes, his litter box, don’t buy all new ones when you move unless you have to. Anything you can bring to the new place that he still identifies as his will help him learn that this home is as much his as the last one.
  5. Move your cat last. Let him experience all the newness at once so he can take it in as he decides to.

Check Jennifer Spencer out at  jennalyns.wordpress.com.

Special Guest Post: One Eyed Jack

In the center of our town there is a 60 acre nature preserve where people go, stealthily by night, to dump the cats they no longer want. Conditions on the preserve are not particularly conducive to a happy, healthy cat life. Not only is it blisteringly hot in the open desert with clean water in short supply but coyotes, rattlesnakes and not-so-nice humans are the primary predators the formerly pampered house cats now need to beware of. Then again, the preserve was not created to provide a home for unwanted cats. It was created primarily as a water ranch to process reclaimed water.

Since most of these cats were not spayed or neutered before being dumped, they did what cats do, which has resulted in a population of approximately 60-75 feral cats and kittens who roam the desert conditions, birthing in sewers and relying on a group of people who go out into the preserve twice a day to leave food at designated feeding stations. It was being two of these people that led us to find Jack, Samhain and Nyksa.

The day was particularly hot, in excess of 110 degrees, when we spotted a black kitten whose right eye was sealed shut with blood. He was at the last feeding station, hanging back in the brush with his litter mates, mother and the rest of the group waiting for us to leave so he could get his fair share of kibbles and bits.

We couldn’t just leave him there, but people had warned us not to try to take in kittens over 6 weeks old. “They’ll never be tamed,” people said. “They can’t be indoor cats,” they said. Whether he be tamed or not, indoor or returned to live out his life on the preserve, he obviously needed medical attention so we set up a homemade trap and tried to entice him into it with delicious wet food.

We waited. He waited just on the perimeter of the trap. A different black kitten went in, but we didn’t spring the trap. Then a grey kitten joined the black one, both feeding happily, but still the injured kitten remained outside, wary, watching us. Finally, his stomach spoke louder than his brain, and he cautiously entered the trap, making sure to keep his good eye toward us, but the other two were still feasting happily beneath the unsprung trap.

What to do? Spring it and have three feral kittens to deal with? Or risk losing the injured one by waiting too long?

We’d never done this before but decided to spring the trap and take our chances. Sprung, the kittens turned into pinballs, bouncing manically around the cage until we got a sheet over it. Now we had 3 feral kittens stuck in a trap, silent but pretty well peeved and waiting for a chance to strike. We took them home.

We cleared out our bedroom, and our dog sacrificed his crate to provide a safe home for the new kittens. Transferring them from the cage to the crate, we were again thrown into the role of Pinball Wizards. They bounced around the empty room, clawed desperately at the window blind and scratched gouges in our walls until we figured out to turn off the light. Using towels, in almost pitch blackness, we managed to wrangle the lot and get them into the crate where we had placed food, water and a towel for bedding.

Now what? We couldn’t imagine how we were going to get the injured one out to help him or even to find out what was wrong with his eye. After recuperating and regrouping, I finally decided to just go in there and grab him with a towel. I did just that, wrapped him in the towel and held him tightly on my lap. Within minutes, I felt his body relax, his breathing calmed and he let me look at his eye. He allowed me clean it with a damp washcloth and apply topical antibiotic to the infection without fuss or muss.

Two days later, One Eyed Jack, as he is now known because he is permanently blind in that eye, was chilling on the couch with me and getting eye medication twice a day. His sisters took longer to come around but they each did in their own time. Samhain took the longest, a little over a month and the key to turning her was singing to her! Now, three years later, they are happy, chubby, pampered, altered house cats who, I hope, have forgotten their difficult early months.

You can follow Jencie, @ecowitch on Twitter!

 

Special Guest Post: Parker’s Story; The Adoption!

Parker on his first day out from under the bed. The clearest shot available of this wiggly kitten! Like lightning!

I moved to Boston without a cat. The guy I was dating was allergic (Note to self: That should’ve been your first clue it wasn’t going to work out!) and our apartment was tiny, so bringing the cat I’d grown up with was out of the question. That kicked off a 5 year period of cat-less living. When I finally had the opportunity to welcome a feline companion back into my life, I scoured the city for just the right match. It turns out finding a cat is a lot like online dating. Lots of them look awesome online, and then you get there and there just isn’t that spark that you’d hoped for. I’d been to a number of shelters and homes, each time disappointed and feeling terrible for having left a perfect lovely fuzzy little guy or girl behind.

One day I went to an adoption event planning to come away disappointed again and instead I fell absolutely in love. There in the crate was a quiet black kitten, patiently gazing at his rambunctious brothers and sisters with bright green eyes. I asked to hold him, and he settled in against my shoulder, looking around calmly while all the other cats cried about the hectic, unfamiliar surroundings. When he’d had enough he looked at me and quietly meowed. I’d finally met The One.

I started the adoption process right away. His foster mom had a hard time letting go, but I made sure to keep in constant touch, got my references and adoption fees to her within 24 hours, and got my apartment ready for his arrival. After what felt like ages, I brought him home with me, where he promptly hid under the bed for the next 24 hours. I don’t know what conclusions he came to while he was under there, but the next day he ventured out and was immediately snuggly and friendly to every person and cat he met. He’s never looked back.

Parker continues to be a snuggler, a friendly kneader and a curious guy who likes to have his belly scratched. I’m so proud to be a black cat owner, and wouldn’t have it any other way! We’ve had some great adventures in the seven years since the day we met. Check back here to read more of our story, coming soon!

Have you adopted a black cat? How did you meet?

Check Jennifer Spencer out at  jennalyns.wordpress.com.

Happy Tail: Monkey

Do any of you remember our first adventure in kitten taming? It was a challenge! And the littlest one, Tall (Yes, we named them after the Starbucks cup sizes!) was the hardest nut to crack. However, she is now a happy adult cat- with just a little trace of her former, feral kitten self.

From her adopter, Kymm…

After my sister adopted sunshine (now OREO), it got me thinking about sending an update on Monkey (formerly the Starbucks Kitty Tall). She is turning 4 this year and is still a lovely bundle of joy. She does have her moments though of being naughty and is still shy with new people.  We live in Florida now, and she is a happy bundle of joy.  She and Spirit (my other cat who is going to be 7 this year) are always chasing each other around the house and playing non-stop. Hope all is well with you all and great job with everything that you do.

Special Guest Post: Black Cat Travel Tips

If you’re thinking about bringing Tigger on your next vacation, keep in mind that cats can be temperamental travel companions. Whether you’re traveling by air or on land, there are some important things that you should remember before packing the car and setting out with your feline friend.

Visit the Vet

If you’re traveling by plane or other public transit, you might need to show proof of your cat’s vaccinations and health. Visit the vet beforehand and make sure everything is up to date. You might even want to ask if the vet recommends a mild sedative to make the trip easier for your pal.

Practice Makes Purrfect

Take your cat in the car with you a few times before setting out on the open road. You might also want to let them sleep in their carrier a few times before the trip. This will acclimate them to it and will lessen the shock once you actually set out on the trip.

 Check Your Itinerary

If you’ll be staying in hotels or other public spaces, check to see what each place’s pet policy is. You’ll want to make sure they don’t have any sort of restrictions on weight or number of animals.

Consistency is Key

Animals have much more sensitive digestive systems than humans so instead of switching up your cat’s dietary habits while on vacation, bring their regular food. Vacation is a terrible time for your pet to get sick. Keep their food consistent and slowly wean them off of your local water. Water quality varies from city to city so bring a gallon of your tap water with you and slowly start introducing your cat to the local water.

Before You Leave

Feed your cat about 4 or 5 hours before you set off on the trip. This will give the food time to settle and will prevent any discomfort or vomiting for your furry friend.

Logan is a cat lover and loves helping people find the right jet charter when they’re traveling with pets. Teterboro is the airport he likes to travel from most.

Special Guest Post: If a Black Cat Crosses Your Path, It Could Be Famous!

If you’re here on this dedicated site, odds are you already know how fabulous black cats can be, but maybe you want some more information to use to convince the rest of the world (so cynical, they are).  And what’s more convincing than celebrities?!

I’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list (that still managed to include most of my favorites somehow, 😉 ) of famous black—or pretty much black—cats.  Some you may already know about, others you may just need to be reminded of.  Heck, maybe you’ll even learn about a few new ones!  So use this information however you want, for your own entertainment and education and/or for the entertainment and education of others. Remember, this is just further evidence that black cats ROCK.

Boo Boo Kitty– (Laverne and Shirley, TV Show) Boo Boo kitty wasn’t a “real” kitty, but that didn’t make him any less important to Shirley (Cindy Williams)— for example, she was rather irate when she found her best friend Laverne using him as a pin cushion.  Boo Boo kitty would listen to all of Shirley’s troubles and offer only comfort and understanding.   I imagine we’ve all had a Boo Boo kitty at one point, and who better one to understand feeling misunderstood than a sweet, black kitty?

Isis– (Star Trek, TV Show) Sometimes a beautiful woman, and most of the time a lovely black cat (but always with a stunning collar), Isis was agent Gary Seven’s partner.  Isis and Gary were not only partners who went everywhere together and watched over each other, but they also shared a telepathic link!  Played by an attractive specimen of black feline named Sambo, Isis was very deserving of the sparkling stones around her neck, and—in cat form at least—embodied what all cat owners would love to have with their pets: a loving relationship AND THE ABILITY TO TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Cat– (Red Dwarf, British TV Show) Possibly the last member of his species, Felis sapiens, Cat looks like a human—aside from some very sharp eye teeth— but is very faithful in his actions to the cats his people evolved from.  Danny John-Jules, an absurdly talented African-American gentleman, created a loveable, vain, aloof, arrogant character obsessed with grooming and very particular about his wardrobe.   Though Cat starts off as incredibly self-serving, he does warm up to characters Lister and Kryten but, in true feline fashion, he does not love everyone; the obnoxious Rimmer continues to receive a hearty helping of Cat’s comedic and sharp(rough?)-tongued antipathy.

Winky– (Escape to Witch Mountain, Film) When I was a kid I loved Disney movies, but only the animated films.  One exception to my policy, however, was Escape to Witch Mountain.  I desperately wanted psychic powers and a big, black cat like Winky.  Winky was loyal, clever, and “good with dogs.”  He even retrieved a lost set of keys from the beach!  Even now (the film came out in 1975) whenever I ask people if they’ve seen the movie, one of the first things they always mention is Winky (so named because of his tendency to wink, of course).  He WAS pretty unforgettable.

Penelope Pussy Cat– (Looney Tunes, Cartoon) If the name doesn’t ring a bell it’s because you probably know her best as whatever saccharine pet name Pepe Le Pew is calling after her as she desperately tries to avoid his very pungent affections.  Penelope is the first tuxedo on this list, but not the last.  This long-suffering kitty was often ingenious in her attempts to evade Pepe’s amorous advance, but my favorite episode remains “For Scent-imental reasons” in which Pepe ends up painted blue and Penelope turns the tables on him, frolicking after him in a love-crazed trance.

Sylvester J. Pussycat– (Looney Tunes, Cartoon) Everyone knows the second tuxedo on this list and his very syllabant lisp—which was always made quite evident by his hallmark phrase, “sufferin’ succotash.”  Though he’s usually the antagonist, I like Sylvester much better than that annoying Tweety bird he’s always trying to eat (or Speedy Gonzales). Again we have a cat that devises almost ingenious plans and, best of all, he won’t. Give. Up.   Brains and determination?  A cat after my own heart.  One of Sylvester’s claims to fame is that he has “met his end” the most of any Looney Tunes character— a dubious honor for some, but a point of pride for a cat.  Why have nine lives if you’re not going to use them?

Snowball– (The Simpsons, TV Show) Over the last 20 plus years, the Simpsons have gone through several cats—most in a single episode and most named Snowball.  Currently, the Simpson family shares their home with a retired greyhound and a VERY dark grey cat named Snowball II. However, this cat is technically Snowball V, but—in order to not have to purchase a new food bowl—it was decided to rename her Snowball II.  This decision worked well as Snowballs II and V look, act, and sound EXACTLY alike.  Though rarely playing a featured role in an episode, this nearly black kitty can often be seen either curled up with Santa’s Little Helper (the dog) or in the background of a scene, doing her own thing.

Socks– (First Cat) While he wasn’t the first cat to grace the Whitehouse with his presence, he certainly became the most famous.  An adorable tuxedo—the third and final one on the list—, Socks spent Bill Clinton’s entire presidency as First Cat.  Socks was such a popular figure that a cartoon version of him guided children through the White House website.  The presidential feline also visited schools and hospitals, and had his own children’s book.  Not bad for a little, black, stray kitty!

Tommaso– You may not have heard of this Italian boy, but you’ll wish you knew him!  Tommaso’s claim to fame lies in the Guinness Book of World records; Tommaso is the world’s richest cat.  His owner, Maria Assunta loved him so much that she left her entire estate (estimated to amount to $13 million) to him when she passed away in 2011.  Even more interesting, the cat who held the record before Tommaso (and had since 1988), was also a black cat, aptly named Blackie.  Considering both of the wealthy owners died well into old age, it sounds like these boys were full of love and good luck!

What other famous black cats can you think of?

About the author: Ashan Dezoysa loves animals so much that he decided to dedicate his life to them!  Check out his website, especially if you’d like to give your pet a space to call his or her own. When not providing for all your pet needs, Ashan enjoys outdoor activities and loves interacting and conversing with fellow pet lovers. If you’d like to contact him on Twitter, his Twitter ID is Ashan_Dezoysa.

Happy Tails: Barley and Hops

Michelle adopted Barley (Jackson during his time with us) from Black Cat Rescue in 2010. She met several of our other cats (and patiently dealt with some scheduling issues on our end!) before falling in love with Barley. Since then, Barley has moved to Chicago and Michelle has been great about keeping us posted!

Barley is still doing well with us, and we are still thrilled to have him (of course). Barley is so attractive and charming that he has convinced our friends, who are now looking to adopt a cat, to get a black cat!

When Michelle began to consider adopting another cat, this time in the Chicago area, she reached out to us for input. About a month later, we got this great update!

Thanks for the advice. I’m glad you remembered after all that time. I did indeed get another cat, a 7-year-old female named Hops (quite spunky for a 7-year-old). After about a month, now, I can finally trust them together unsupervised. I think they are becoming friends. Here are some pictures.

Now Barley and Hops watch the world go by together….

…explore together….

…and take a well-deserved rest together!

In adopting Hops, Michelle took a chance on an older cat and coudn’t be happier with her decision to add Hops to the family!

Hops, my 7-year-old, is extremely playful and is spunkier than my parents’ 2-year-old. She has popped her head out of many surprising closet shelves and bookshelves, and keeps Barley well-entertained. Just an example of how older cats can be just as energetic and wacky as younger cats.

Cheers to Barley and Hops!!