Tag Archives: rescue

Frisky Cat Cafe in Saint Augustine, Florida


My wife and I spent a few days in St. Augustine earlier this week. We decided to go there instead of Nova Scotia, where we planned on going until COVID put an end to that idea. If anyone is looking for a good place to go on vacation, St. Augustine is a great choice. If you do decide to visit St. Augustine, be sure to plan a visit to the Frisky Cat Cafe. You won’t regret it.

I noticed it in passing on Wednesday morning as we were heading to Tuesday Morning. Our destination was not important but in this case it sounds funny to say it. I suggested to my wife that we check it out later and on the way back we did just that.

The place is located in a retail plaza at 1092 S Ponce De Leon Blvd. It must be fairly new because when I looked on Google Street View it wasn’t there.

Inside there is a cafe that sells coffee drinks and pastries. I’m not a big fan of pastries so I just got an iced coffee.

The cats are in a separate room and there is a fee of, if I remember right, $10 for an hour-long visit. The fee is like a donation that helps pay for the care of the cats. We paid for our coffees and for the visit and went into the cat room. A reservation is recommended but we came at a good time and didn’t need one. If you do decide to go make sure they are open first. I believe COVID has limited their hours somewhat.

It was well designed for both kitties and humans. I especially like what they did with plain cardboard boxes. I want to do that in my house but I don’t have the room.

The barista soon brought us our drinks and during the course of our visit, we had a chance to talk more about the Kitty Cafe. It turns out she was not just the barista but also the founder of the cafe and the organization that it helps, Small Lives Matter Kitten Rescue. She told us that they help pull cats and kittens from high-risk kill shelters. The ones that are sociable go to the cafe where they can be adopted. The ones that are less sociable will go to Petsmart where they will get noticed more easily.

I do think that having one or two shy cats in the cafe is actually a good idea becase a shy cat in a group of outgoing cats sticks out like a sore thumb. This calico, for example, was somewhat shy and the girl that was here before us was planning on adopting her.

I checked out the cafe’s website and their about page says this:

We are a cause-focused business, which means that our business operates in order to support our cause to save the lives of homeless cats and kittens.

The cat experience fees enable us to pay for housing, medical care, spay and neuter surgeries, food, and supplies for these cats that are looking for a home for life. Using a cat café business model allows us to support Small Lives Matter Kittens Rescue and their work. This partnership provides the rescue with a full-time foster home where the cats may stay and provide the funding to pay for their care.

We need visitors and we will fail without your support.

When we were there, there were mostly kittens in the cafe, which makes sense because it is a kitten rescue organization. Many were very playful.

Some were resting.

Others were just hanging out looking cute.

One little girl paid so much attention to my wife that she decided she wanted to adopt her. The only problem was that we were not only hundreds of miles from home but our next stop was Melbourne to visit Rose’s Dad. It just wasn’t possible to bring a cat with us.

While we were there we enjoyed a few laughs too. How can you not with a room full of kittens?

I think the funniest thing was the interest that the cats showed in my coffee.

It was as if they were addicted to coffee and this was a coffee rehab center.

Another funny incident happened when one of the kittens noticed the cat food container was left open.

Soon, others took notice.

After a good long visit we said goodbye to the kitties and went back to our hotel, but the visit remains one of the highlights of our trip.

If you are planning a visit to St. Augustine I encourage you to visit Frisky Cat Cafe. If you can’t visit, perhaps you will consider a small donation to help them out. If you click here it will bring you to their donation page.

What do you think? Would you visit this place? Have you visited another cat cafe. I’d love to hear what you think.

Miss Luis the Kitten’s Last Day Before Adoption


Back on the 26th of June, Rose and I were involved in rescuing a newborn kitten (read here if you missed it). We brought her to my sister-in-law, Felice, who is an experienced kitten rescuer. She worked hard to keep the kitten alive and now she is doing well.

Rose said she wanted to name the kitten Luis, if it was a boy, after her maintenence supervisor who found the kitten and called Rose for help. It was a girl and she ended up with the Name Lulu (see here and here) but that didn’t stick so now she is called Miss Luis, which we pronounce “Louie.”

We were at Felice’s house on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of Rose and Felice’s mother. While I was there I was able to get a few good pictures of Miss Luis along with two male kittens that Felice took in shortly after Miss Luis arrived.

Miss Luis kitten

Miss Luis

Miss Luis kitten

Miss Luis

Kittens

Makeshift kitten sanctuary.

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Kitten

The three kittens had fun playing together for awhile and then one fell asleep on the couch while Miss Luis hid behind the pillows. The third cat disappeared into the bathroom where he napped in a carrier that has become their bedroom.
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20150905_Felice's house_054Kittens

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Miss Luis eventually fell asleep with one of the boy kittens.

Kittens

Later, the third kitten came out and joined Miss Luis in some play while his brother tried to nap.

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Of course there are more than kittens at Felice’s house and I got plenty of attention from some of the locals.

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The next day, Miss Luis went to her new home. A man adopted her so another female kitten he recently adopted could have company. I was told she cried all the way to her new home but then quickly became friends with resident kitten.

Newborn Kitten Rescue


My wife, Rose, runs one of the largest apartment complexes in the area. Recently there has been an increase in the feral cat population on her property.  I told her that she could get traps from the Humane Society and once caught, we could have them fixed (out of our pocket, of course) and returned to the property. Unfortunately, Rose has so much work and is chained to her desk eleven hours a day that she has no time for anything else.

Yesterday evening, while eating dinner, Rose got a call from Luis, her maintenance supervisor. He said a resident had informed him of an abandoned kitten. When he got there, he found blood on the sidewalk and a solitary kitten with no mother in sight. He decided to take the kitten home and call Rose to ask for advice.

I know it is very difficult to raise a newborn kitten without its mother. Many don’t make it. I also know that some people will take the kittens thinking that they are helping, not knowing that the mother is close by, perhaps hunting or just hiding, waiting for the humans to leave. She could also be in the process of moving the kittens. In this case, it seemed the mother was not returning.

Rose hung up with Luis and called her sister, Felice, who is an expert in rescuing newborn kittens. She works for a vet and has brought many kittens back from the brink of death, while also losing a few along the way. She told Rose to bring the kitten to her and then started the process of turning her bathroom into a makeshift nursery. Our Puck was saved in Felice’s bathroom.

We immediately put our food away and headed to the property to pick up the kitten. Luis had it on a towel in a small box. He handed it to me and Rose sped away, driving her Mustang like it was an ambulance. She was very careful not to break any speeding laws (fingers crossed) while we raced the 24 miles to Felice’s house.

Newborn kitten

When we arrived, Felice picked up the kitten and said it was too cold. She brought it into the “nursery” where she had a cat carrier set up with an electric heating pad on the bottom topped with a towel and another towel or two covering the top of the carrier, making it an incubator.

She put the kitten inside for a few minutes and then took it out and gave it some formula. She squeezed a small amount of the mixture in the side of the kitten’s mouth.  Putting it directly in the mouth was not good. I believe she said it could introduce air bubbles into its stomach. That is not what she said but that is how I interpreted it. After only a couple of drops of food, she put the kitten back in the incubator for about fifteen minutes. She then took it out and gave it more food.

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Taking care of a newborn kitten is a lot of work. Felice says it will need to eat every two hours for the first couple of weeks of its life. Once it is old enough, we might have to adopt it if we can’t find someone to give it a home. We do not want to leave that burden with Felice but I hope we find it a home because we already have more cats than allowed. I would hate to be forced to get rid of cats after they have become family members.

By the way, if the cat is a boy, Rose want’s to name him Luis.

Incredible Feline Survival Stories


The other day I saw a Facebook post from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay about a cat that literally came back from the grave. My first thought was to share the story but then it occurred to me that I follow other cats on Facebook that have equally impressive stories of great trauma and survival, so I though I would share some of their stories as well.

The first story is about a cat named Bart. He was hit by a car and found by a neighbor, “stiff and in a pool of blood.” The neighbor brought Bart to his owner who buried him. Somehow Bart managed to dig himself out of the grave and was found by a neighbor five days later. That neighbor knew that Bart was dead and buried and brought him to his owner. The owner could not afford the cost to treat him and asked the Human Society for help.


Bart continues to improve and his prognosis looks good. The Humane Society has investigated Bart’s home environment and the circumstances surrounding the accident and burial and decided not to return Bart to his home. You can learn more about Bart and his progress here.


 

Then there is Mr. Biscuits. He was a young cat in Philadelphia that was cold and decided to keep warm in the engine of a car where he got stuck. The driver of the car was not aware of his presence and drove to work. Fortunately, he noticed a problem with his power steering and opened his hood when he got to work to see what was wrong. That is when he made the shocking discovery.

Animal control officers worked for nearly two hours before freeing the kitten, who was severely burned over 25% of his body. He may have even been on fire at one point. He was rushed to Metropolitan Veterinary Associates who thought his injuries were too severe to treat but after seeing him lying on the table and “making biscuits” they decided to try.

Mr. Biscuits was taken in by The Grannie Project, a rescue organization that normally helps older cats but made an exception for Mr. Biscuits. Thanks to their help, he continues to improve.

 


 

Joe the cat

theobserver.ca

Another amazing survival story is Joe The Cat. Joe was found on the side of the road near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. He was shot in the head 17 times with a pellet gun. A good Samaritan, thinking he was hit by a car, picked him up and brought him to the Humane Society.

Surviving 17 shots to the head, presumably at close range, is a miracle in itself, but what is really amazing is how the people of Sarnia came together in support of Joe. Two men were charged in the shooting and now the people are rallying around Joe’s cause in a fight to establish tougher penalties for animal abusers. Even though I have no influence in Ontario, I support their cause.


 

Last, but not least, there is Frosty the Frozen Kitten. She was found in  barn on Dec 30th, 2013.  The temperature had been below zero for many days and colder weather was on the way. She was so frozen that one of her limbs would not move and her eyes were frozen open. It was a miracle that she survived the first night and was near death for several days.

Slowly she started to get better. Her blindness caused by the extreme cold has healed but she still has trouble regulating he body temperature and will sometimes wear clothing or sleep on a heated cat bed.

You can read the entire story of Frosty’s rescue and rehabilitation here.

I think all of these cats are amazing but the true heroes are the ones who worked hard in the background to help save these cats and give them hope for a better future.  The same can be said for everyone who helps an animal in need. What do you think of these amazing kitties? Do you know of another survival story that you would like to share?

Don’t forget that you can follow Bad Cat Chris along with the above kitties on Facebook by following these links.  Bart – Via The Humane Society of Tampa Bay,  Mr. Biscuits,  Joe the Cat  and  Frosty the Frozen Kitten

Update: After posting this I realized I missed writing about Bobbie the Survivor. A bobcat attacked her and left her for dead. When someone discovered her and called for help, the bobcat came back and attacked again. You can read more of her story here. I also missed Crouton – Fire Survivor and Cat Extraordinaire. He was inside a house that was completely destroyed by fire. Read his story here.

The Cat Tree


Out of our three cats, Chris is the only one I feel comfortable letting outside. Puck is okay when let out. He doesn’t go far but he is near impossible to catch when it is time to go in. Frankie can never be let outside. It is unfortunate but after leading us on a long chase through the neighborhood… twice, I feel if he ever got out again we might lose him. When Chris is let out he usually starts by eating grass, nothing worrisome there, but I do have to remind myself that he is still a bad cat and I need to keep an eye on him.

Sunday afternoon I had to bring the trash out and Chris was at the door crying to be let out so I thought a few minutes outside wouldn’t hurt. As unusual, he ate grass while I brought the trash to the barrel at the side of the building. On the way back I got into a long conversation with the neighbors. While this was going on, I kept checking on Chris, who was gradually working his way toward the side of the building. When he got far enough away, I ended my conversation and went to get him.

Naturally, Chris doesn’t want to get got so he runs away from me, which I expected. My main goal was to herd him toward the front door. I’ve noticed lately that Chris tends to be very casual while outside until he knows it is time to come in, then he desperately starts looking for a lizard while avoiding getting caught himself. A few times he has shocked me by actually catching one with such short notice. On this day there were no lizards in sight but he wasn’t ready to be caught yet so he tried something new. He ran up the side of the tree in our front yard.

Bad Cat Chris in a tree.Bad Cat Chris in a tree.I was a bit surprised at first, especially because he went up it like he had done it a hundred times. I took my phone out and took a couple of quick pictures but then had to put it away because he started climbing higher and I wanted to get him while I could still barely reach him. He wasn’t too happy about being pulled out of that tree but unfortunately tree climbing is not one of the benefits of being an indoor cat.