Author Archives: smangela

Skyler Needs Your Help!

Skyler is a sweet five-year-old girl who, though shy, purrs readily when you pet her (and really loves to be brushed). She’s so sweet, in fact, that you’d never guess how hard her life has been! When Animal Control took her from a hoarding situation last summer, Skyler was skinny, scared, and very sick. Not only did she have severe dental issues that made it too painful for her to eat, but her left eye was stuck shut with thick, green goo.

See image of Skyler when she first came to Black Cat Rescue >

Help us raise $3,000 for Skyler’s care.

Animal Control transferred Skyler to a local shelter, where she had surgery to remove most of her teeth. The surgery helped with the dental disease, and Skyler started eating again because she wasn’t in so much pain. Her eye didn’t get better, though, even after a long course of antibiotics. The shelter was afraid that Skyler would have chronic discharge for the rest of her life, and that she would never be adopted because of it.

That’s when Skyler came to Black Cat Rescue.

Black Cat Rescue immediately made arrangements for Skyler to get the specialized care that she needed for her eye. Her doctor discovered that a long-term infection had created a hole between Skyler’s eye socket and her tear duct system. The infection was cause by a bacteria only rarely seen in small animals.

The good news is that the culture results helped Skyler’s doctor prescribe new, more effective antibiotics. The bad news, however, is that this is a serious infection requiring long-term treatment—and in order to plan this treatment, Skyler’s doctor needs to order more tests. We need to know as much as we can about how Skyler got infected, as well as how much damage the infection has already done. She’s been responding well to treatment so far!

Skylar

The next step for Skyler is to get a CAT scan of her skull. Information from the CAT scan will not only help inform a treatment plan for Skyler, but will also shed some light on what Skyler’s life might be like after her treatment is completed.

Even with generous discounts, getting Skyler healthy again will be an expensive undertaking. The CAT scan will cost over a thousand dolalrs, and Skyler will need months of antibiotic therapy. She may also need more surgery to remove infected teeth or bone. We think Skyler is worth it, though, and we’re determined to help her heal so that she can find her forever home.

To do this, we’re setting a fundraising goal of $3,000. We will post updates via social media.

Can you help sweet, gentle Skyler get the treatment she needs?

Please donate today.

Any funds raised in excess of Skyler’s needs will go toward other Black Cat Rescue veterinary expenses.

2 Delicious Ways to Help Black Cats

We’re celebrating this fall in style with not one, but TWO fundraising programs you do not want to miss. All you have to do is eat chocolate and pizza.
Chocolate in October | Pizza in November

We know, it’s really a lot to ask. But, it’s for the kitties!

Eat Chocolate in October

Boston Chocolate Tours & School is helping us take October back for black cats!

20% of profits from tours and workshops that take place in October will go towards Black Cat Rescue fundraising efforts when you use the code BLACKCATEat chocolate and help save some kitty lives!

boston chocolate making workshops

Eat Pizza in November

cat pizza

Come enjoy some delicious pizza at Flatbread Somerville and support Black Cat Rescue!

From 5:00 pm to closing on November 19, $3.50 from each large pizza purchased and $1.75 from each small pizza purchased will be donated to Black Cat Rescue. We will also be hanging out, selling Black Cat Rescue merchandise and spreading the word about black cat adoption!

Want to stay in the know? RVSP on EvenBrite to get updates.

Help Xena, Warrior Kitty!

black cat rescue boston
 
Xena is an incredibly sweet 13 year old black cat living with diabetes. She was abandoned in her carrier outside of a shelter with a copy of her medical record.
 

Xena is a very loving cat and deserves some extra TLC during her senior years.

 
Xena is presently safe and warm in a Black Cat Foster home, getting lots of love from our compassionate Foster Care Coordinator, Daisy. However, the insulin that she requires is very expensive and the cost of her care is mounting rapidly. We have spent over $1,500 so far, and she will require this type of care for the rest of her life.
 

Xena is a cat that many organizations would have turned away.

 
She is not “adoptable” by most common standards. However, we believe that Xena has lots more love to give! Please consider helping out a senior black cat with special needs by donating toward the cost of her medical care.
 

donate to black cat rescue

2012: Black Cat Rescue Blog in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. You all made 2012 quite an amazing year, so we wanted to share the love (and fireworks). Now let’s blow 2013 out of the water!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 51,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 12 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

My sweetest friend died today.

We get to participate in a lot of happy tails and shining moments at Black Cat Rescue. At times, we are also honored by those who share heart warming stories of friendship and loss with our volunteers. This is one of those stories.

message

My sweetest friend died today.

I found him in a dumpster in 2002 when he was 6-8 weeks old.  Outside a convenience store in Montgomery, TX.  He was the only one alive in a box with 3 dead siblings.  A jet black cat with no hope for any future.

I named him Emanon, which is “No name” backwards, because I had no clue what to call him.

He developed diabetes.  I was told I should just put him to sleep, but I could no more do that to him than I could my own child.

We have these … these cats, you know?

They’re stubborn and independent.  They don’t care if we call them unless there’s food involved.  They will never protect us.  We’re not part of their “pack”.  They understand only a basic level of territoriality.  They know where they can be, won’t be, shouldn’t be, and will never be.

They know who we are.  They recognize us, our faces, our voices, our smells, our mannerisms.  They know who to turn to for ear rubs and belly scratches, should the mood present itself.

We sit in utter exasperation at their litter box smells and constant whining and they live in constant frustration at us for limiting their perching space and closing off their roaming territories.  We chastise them for tearing up our furniture while they exist in a state of utter terror that we might, at any time, vacuum the rug.

We equally hate and love each other, but we need each other.  They accept who we are, no matter how drunk or poor or old; and we accept them for the occasional humor and purrs and quiet moments in the early morning over coffee.

They are like us.  Their loyalty is fleeting, their trust easily destroyed, their forgiveness not easily earned; but their friendship lasts beyond death.

When you lose a cat you don’t lose a pet.  You lose a piece of yourself.

I just wanted to share that.

Emanon the cat.This is Emanon. His family sent us the last picture they took of him. We have never met Emanon. We have never met his family. However, we are very touched that Emanon’s family shared this story with us recently. It reminds us about the greatness of simple things, things are truly monumental in all of our lives. Rest in peace, friend.

Happy Tail Anniversary: Beatrice

happy tail black cat

happy tail black catBeatrice was once a playful little 5 months old kitten looking for her forever home with Black Cat Rescue. She even spent a day teaching first graders about kindness to animals, and allowed all 25 kids to snuggle her! She is now celebrating a happy tail anniversary before the holidays!

“It’s been a while, and since it’s so close to her adoption anniversary, I thought you might like a couple recent pictures of Beatrice. She’s still awesome!” ~ Beatrice’s Mom

Yelp Really Does Help!

When we originally heard about Yelp Helps: Hop to It! through the Young Non-profit Professionals, we had no idea what to expect. The concept sounded epic. Yelp and One Brick Boston pairing Boston’s best craft beer with some of Boston’s best volunteer-driven nonprofits? Benefiting Arts at the Armory in Somerville? Free?! Yes, please.

We just had a few challenges…

  1. Black Cat Rescue is supported by a very small team of volunteers. VERY small. Plus, we all have full-time jobs, rely heavily on public transportation and have cats to save! Staffing a table for up to eight hours would be quite a task.
  1. We don’t have a shelter. We don’t have a main office. People cannot come and visit our kitties for socializing play time. Our primary volunteer opportunity is fostering, which is a (completely worthwhile) commitment for people. Recruiting at a tabling event wouldn’t be easy.
  1. The table had to be interactive. But, we couldn’t bring cats. How do you get people to visit a table instead of a beer tap without kittens?!

Still, we decided to take the plunge…

The best thing about a boot strap group of volunteers is that we’re always up for a challenge…or two….or three. Luckily, we were partnered with rock star Rori  from Baxter Brewing and she kicked butt. Seriously, we couldn’t have asked for a better table buddy. Check out the signs they posted!

And since we couldn’t bring the kittens to the people, we decided to bring the people to the kittens! An amazing fellow animal advocate created the cutest video ever earlier this year promoting the adoption of black cats. Yelp Helps: Hop to It! hooked us up with an outlet, Chris sent us the video file and we ran the kitten cuteness on loop throughout the event. It was a hit! People where mesmerized from across the room by these ninja cuddlers.

The event was a HUGE success!

20 local beers + 20 local volunteering opportunities + 800 Yelpers = A tasting/expo hybrid the world has never seen.  Several attendees filled out Black Cat Rescue foster applications on the spot. We spoke with a few people who are itching to volunteer for marketing campaigns. And best of all, we won the $435 door prize with all of our supporters blowing up the Yelp Boston twitter feed! That’s right. There was a popularity contest and our kitties won. A BIG thank you goes out to Yelp Boston, OneBrick, Baxter Brewing and our network of supporters.

Oh yeah, and we gave away black cat Webkinz. It was pretty awesome.

Reviews | Photos | More

Smitten for Kittens?

Black Cat Rescue will be at Polka Dog Bakery in Jamaica Plain THIS Saturday, August 11th, from 10-2 with our adorable kittens!

adopt black kittens

Come meet our sweet, playful, squee-inducing little fuzzballs and enjoy some coffee and delicious treats. If you are tired of seeing and not touching, this event is for you. Get your fingers in the fur! These lovable little rascals are ready to win your heart. Don’t miss your chance to snuggle! (Rain or Shine)

And that’s not all! Register before midnight on Sunday, August 10th on THIS page and we’ll give YOU a keepsake of YOUR choice.

Eventbrite - Smitten with Kittens? Come get your fix!

Special Guest Post: Vote for FurKids!

“Going to great lengths” to rescue cats is standard operating procedure at Furkids, Georgia’s largest, no-kill, cage-free cat shelter caring for 500 cats and 100 dogs.  Not only do we rescue cats from throughout the state of Georgia — we also do everything possible to give them the highest quality of life possible — no matter their needs.  Below is just one example of many stories that show the lengths we go to in order to ensure our animals are healthy, safe, loved, and ultimately adopted.

Last year, we rescued a stray mother cat and her sickly kittens — two of these little kittens were named Billy the Kid and Jesse James.

The mom, Belle Star, was malnourished but trying desperately to feed her babies. The severity of sickness that afflicted the kittens, especially Billy and Jesse,  was overwhelming, and the photos of their condition upon intake moved all of us.

We all were overcome with grief at their condition, including our veterinarian, and especially for one kitten that did not survive. We all wished we had learned of this family sooner so that we could have spared them such suffering and we vowed to do everything we could to not only save them, but save their eyesight, too.

After examination and treatment orders were received, we quickly placed the cats with one of our highly experienced volunteers, Lisa. She worked diligently to keep up with the demanding medical regimen implemented by an ophthalmologist. Despite all our best efforts, Billy the Kid and Jesse James each lost one eye. Fortunately, they have perfect sight in their good eyes, and in every other aspect they are now healthy and happy kittens.

The weekly doctor visits and medications for the kittens were costly to our organization. A campaign for donations to support their care was contributed to generously by our huge network of volunteers and supporters.

We knew we would have a challenging time getting these cats placed not only because they were special needs but also because they were black.  We currently have so many black cats at our shelter that keep getting overlooked for adoption, despite their sweet personalities.  Therefore, we were fortunate and thrilled when Billy and Jesse were adopted…together!

Five months after we found them, this is what their adopters reported to us:

“The kittens, Jesse and Billy, are doing great! They have really adjusted to life with us – and they are hilarious. We’d forgotten how much energy kittens have. We have lots of play time with them, but their favorite game is chasing each other! Their most recent adventure is the sink – they love the faucet. We are very happy to have them, and so grateful to FurKids for rescuing them.”

 

Our volunteers say it the best:

“Less adoptable doesn’t mean not rescue-able at Furkids.”

“The people at the shelter and FIV house are real-life superheroes. They work tirelessly with unparalleled devotion to make sure all of the cats get the best care, love, and attention.”

“Every cat at Furkids has his or her own wonderful unique personality and deserves a forever home.”

Furkids is trying to win a car through Nalley’s Facebook contest, “DrivenforaCause.”  We are reaching out to our friends, including everyone here at Black Cat Rescue, to help by voting for us daily through June 30.  No registration (aside from a Facebook account) is required. Just one click to vote. A new vehicle for Furkids will allow us to save many more animals and ultimately unite them with forever families. Thank you! For more information about Furkids, please visit http://www.furkids.org.

A History of Black Cats – the good. the bad. the thoughtfully creative.

Author: Samantha M.

In the wake of The Boston Globe’s fear factor article, we’ve been scouring the interwebs (you know, like Wikipedia) and seeking input from fans, followers and friends all over the globe in search of black cat tales – from anecdotes to legends. Black cats are famous, you know!

the black cat edgar allen poe

From Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat“, the Marvel Comics character and Coraline to Neil Gaiman’s short story, “The Price” (thank you Beth E. & Ethan S.) and Janet Jackson’s famous-ish song the symbolism of a black cat is found throughout American (and global) culture. As Freeman J. Dyson once stated: “Our thinking is permeated by our historical myths”.

Although some of these stories are spooktacular (great for those of you who do not want to say goodbye to Halloween), others portray the faithful, loving, strong and overall amazing furry friends that cross our paths each day.

Dr. Laurie Nadel & Bogart

Catster recently had a guest post discussing unique challenges and misconceptions that black cats often face. What stood out to us is the story of Dr. Laurie Nadel and Bogart. Laurie explains that she has found that black cats often seem more “empathic and intuitive” than other cats.  “When I had bronchitis a few years ago, Bogart would perch on my chest and put his right front paw where my breathing was tight,” Laurie explained in the post. She goes on to describe her how Bograt became a Reiki healer stating that “since then, he has been an essential part of my Reiki practice….I even have testimonial letters from people thanking my black cat!”

At Black Cat Rescue we hear stories EVERYday about the special energy and connection people sense with their black cat companions. Roxanne R. has four black cats, each of whom has “brought their own magic when I needed them the most”.

Hachikō

Tobias B. shared with us that growing up included the tales of a black cat like Hachikō (ハチ公. Although we do not know the details of this story, one can only the image of remarkable loyalty. 

Freya, the ancient Nordic goddess of love, marriage and prosperity

The mythology varies, but with similar detail. An incredibly beautiful deity who is said to have wept tears of gold, Freya was also a fierce warrior as shared with us by Ethan S. One of the many names by which she was known was the Mistress of the Cats, and it was said that the chariot in which she sat was drawn by a pairs of great cats with fur blacker than the midnight sky.

Feline goddess of ancient Egyptian religion
 
bastet
 
The Egyptian goddess Bast (or Bastet) was known as the cat goddess. Egyptians believed they could gain favor from Bastet by hosting black cats in their home. English monarch Charles I held this belief as well. When his treasured black cat passed, he claimed that his luck was gone and he was arrested the very next day and charged with high treason.
 
Of course you know they’re witches, right?
 
Black cats born in May were said to be strongly associated with witchcraft  and were often drowned + supposedly, it is bad luck to discuss family matters when a black cat is present, lest it be a witch in disguise. (via @ecowitch)
 
witches
 
Symbolising evil omens and harboring the ability to change into human shape to act as a spy or messenger for witches or demons are some of the mostly widely known legends of black cats (in the US). When settlers arrived in the Americas, they had a previously developed and deepening suspicion of anything associated with the devil. Due to the sisterhood of witch and black cat, anyone caught with a black cat was severely punished or even killed. Similar superstitions led people to kill black cats during the Middle Ages, increasing the rat population and the spread of the bubonic plague.  
 
In the town of Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire…
(Full disclosure, I think this is my personal favorite.)
 
the black cat of Kidwelly
 
Speaking of black cats and the plague…in Southwest Wales, where Angel J. lives, there is a legend about a particular black cat. As the tale goes, when people came to the town, long after it had been ravaged by the Black Plague, the only living creature they found was a single black cat. The black cat is now the traditional mascot of Kidwelly!
 
Crossing your path…
 
If your driving and a black cat crosses in front of you, you should turn your car around or receive bad luck (via @Lilymoon89)
 
The gambling world believes that if (while traveling to a casino) a black cat crosses your road or path, that person should not go to the casino; most players believe that black cats bring bad luck.
 
Most of western and southern Europe considers the black cat as a symbol of bad luck. Crossing paths with a person is an omen of misfortune and death. HOWEVER things are a bit more complicated in Germany. A black cat crossing a person’s path from right—> to left<—, is a bad omen while from left<— to right—>, the cat is granting favorable times.
 
Similarly pirates of the 19th Century believed that if a black cat walks towards someone, that person will have bad luck. HOWEVER if a black cat walks away from someone, that person will have good luck. Unfortunately if a black cat walks onto a ship and then walks off it, the ship is doomed to sink on its next trip. So maybe if you happen upon a furry little black friend, you might consider not shooing away you new acquaintance away too quickly.
 
But for those always seeking good luck!
 
Sailors often sought out black “ship’s cat” to bring good luck and fishermen’s wives would keep black cats at home in the hope that they would be able to use their influence to protect their husbands while at sea. Other good tales of good fortune include (but are not limited too):
 
  • Black cats have the coolest personalities, and in Japan black manekineko (beckoning cats) are a wish for good health. (via @msgeek93)
  • According to Vickie G. to dream of a black cat is lucky.
  • Scottish Lore: A strange black cat on a porch brings prosperity to the owner. (via Vickie G. + many others)
  • Dawn M. also shares that naming your cat(s) 3 times confuses the devil. That’s good luck, right?
  • In Great Britain and in Ireland, black cats are a symbol of good luck.
  • It is believed that a lady who owns a black cat will have many suitors. Booya!

And to all you wonderful adopters…

Cats should never be bought with money. Doing so means they will be bad mousers. (via @ecowitch)

To learn more about black cat symbolism in anarcho-syndicalism, worldwide culture and more Wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge! Please share more of the myths, folklore and personal tales of black cats that you’ve come to know in the comments below…