Tag Archives: Shelter

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day


Today is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

During this difficult time people have stepped up and have been fostering or adopting pets at a much higher level than I anticipated, but there are still many pets stuck at shelters.

Volunteer duties have been suspended at the SPCA where I volunteer, but they are still open with paid staff and the shelter is taking reservations for people who want to adopt.

I hope to see an empty shelter when I am able to return.

That probably won’t happen but hopefully the pets at the shelter will be kept to a minimum.

That could happen. I am sometimes almost embarrassed to be human because of all the stupid, mean things that people do but during a time of crisis people tend to put the humane in humanity.

Photo Friday: Yoda and Jerry


Shortly after moving to South Carolina in 2009, I started volunteering at a shelter called Sav-R-Cats. It is the shelter where we adopted Chris from but before that, I took photos of cats for their Petfinder page. At the time the shelter had several community rooms and a few large cages. When the volunteers came in, those rooms were mostly emptied and all the cats were allowed to socialize in the main part of the shelter. Some cats stayed outside of the cages, even at night. Two of those cats were best friends Yoda and Jerry, who arrived at the shelter in 2006.

Yoda and Jerry, October 3, 2009

I saw on their Facebook page that Jerry passed away a couple of weeks ago having never been adopted. I believe Yoda is still alive and still at the shelter but I don’t know for sure. I asked about Yoda but have not yet got a response.

I’m not sure why those two were never adopted. Some cats are just not adoptable and end up living out there lives at a no-kill shelter. I don’t know if that was the case with these two. It is possible they could not be separated and needed to go together which can make adoption more difficult. Perhaps, after a while, they just became resident cats, which really isn’t such a bad life considering they had the run of the shelter.

If Yoda is still alive, I am concerned what he will do without Jerry. Perhaps it is time for a loving home.

More Cats in Litter Boxes


A couple of months ago I wrote about the many cats I saw who tended to spend their time lying in litter boxes at the SPCA shelter where I volunteer (see here). I suggested, and people agreed, that this is a behavior caused by stress. Since then I have accumulated several more photos of cats in litter boxes. Many, if not all, of the cats shown here have been adopted so enjoy the photos but don’t worry about the kitties.

Being in a shelter is no fun for anybody but usually, the end justifies the means. I’ve noticed the turnover is relatively quick and a cat that spends three months in our shelter is pretty rare. Now that the shelter is by appointment only that might change but my hope is people won’t forget about these pets in need even though they have other things to worry about right now. What do you think?

Shelter Pets Still Need Homes


As many of you know, I volunteer for the SPCA here in Largo, Florida. I work as a cat counselor every Thursday from 4-7. Usually there are three of us counselors but a week ago two of my fellow volunteers did not show up. When I went in this Thursday I was expecting the shelter to be closed to the public but I was pleasantly surprised that it was open and pets were being adopted, although they have adopted an appointment only policy that started Friday.

I was again alone this Thursday, and I hope the two ladies I work with are well, but it does make my work seem even more important now. During the three hours I was there I saw three cats go home with their new families. It is a good feeling.

My wife and I have been throwing around the idea of adopting a female cat. Unfortunately, we are only allowed one pet where we live and are already over our limit so it probably won’t happen but I still think about it while I am there. This last month there have been a string of female black cats that have been extremely friendly and affectionate. Three of these cats have been in isolation because they supposedly do not get along with other cats. We considered adopting one of them, Jezebel, which I wrote about here. When my wife came in to check her out she proved herself to be intolerant of others.

While I was there Thursday, I kept an eye out for the most friendly female cat at the shelter. This, of course, is impossible to determine on one visit because cats might act differently depending on how tired they are or for other reasons. However, I do think a six year old cat named Kiki would get my vote. Coincidentally, she is another female black cat and I noticed how friendly she was the previous week too.

I think the friendliest male cat at the shelter would be a one year old named Kitty, who is a very special cat with a not so special name. He is in isolation because he is on a special diet but I think that is temporary. When I opened his cage he was all over me. He would push his head into my chin and then put his paws on my shoulder and snuggle with me. As an outgoing and rather well built male, I think he would cause jealousy among our other two wannabe alpha males.

Please excuse the poor quality of this photo of Kitty

On the way out after my shift I noticed a beautiful cat that was just outside the door. He meowed at me and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was one of our cats that escaped. I took a photo of him and went back inside to ask someone.

It turns out his name is Chunks, or something like that, and he is a stray that they take care of. It seems strange that a stray cat would be a permanent resident outside a shelter but if he is feral and unadoptable, that is probably the best place to live. When I came back out I bent down and reached out my hand, hoping he would come to me, but no such luck. I think he his trusting but to a point.

How are things where you live? Do you know if shelters are still open?

Shelter Cats Loafing in Litter


Since starting as a volunteer at the SPCA a few months ago, I have noticed a surprisingly high number of cats who spend there time lying in litter boxes. I don’t know why. The pods at the SPCA are about 100 square feet with plenty of vertical sleeping areas. Perhaps it is a reaction to stress. Considering there are between four and eight cats in each pod and the pods are constantly changing as cats come and go, I can understand why it would be stressful, especially for the more timid cats.

Sometimes they are joined by friends.

What do you think?

Shelter Cats on National Cat Day


Since today is National Cat Day, a day to raise awareness of homeless pets, I thought I would share some recent pictures I took while volunteering at a local SPCA in Largo, Florida. Most of these cats are very friendly and still available for adoption. If you don’t live near me, I’m sure your local shelter has plenty of cats that would love to share your home with you.

As you can see, many cats need a home and the pictures shown here are perhaps five to ten percent of the shelter’s total.

Lately, my wife and I have considered adopting a female cat to help keep our boys in line but we are currently two cats over our legal limit so I don’t know what will happen. If we do decide to adopt, one possibility is the cat shown below. Forgive the quality but I couldn’t get a decent photo of her face because of low light and too much movement.

This girl came to me as soon as I walked in. She got on my lap and purred up a storm. I was a bit concerned because she was practically skin and bones. When one of the shelter employees saw this she said, “Wow, Mama Girl is coming out of her shell.” This surprised me for two reasons. First, out of several cats in the pod, this one seemed the most outgoing and affectionate. Second, I thought she was still a kitten. How could she be a mother? I was told she was about a year old and had already had a litter of kittens.

I expressed my concern about her weight and the employee said she would make a note of it and watch her. If she didn’t improve they might have to remove her from the pod and isolate her. I hoped that wouldn’t happen but sometimes a bully cat can keep another cat from eating. She brought her a container of wet food and asked me to watch and make sure nobody took it from her, which I did. I then noticed a sore on her front leg which I also mentioned.

I will keep on eye on her for as long as she is there. Hopefully she will gain a little weight. Perhaps if I bring her home Chris could show her how to eat for weight gain.

Our Prize Arrived


A few weeks ago we won a cat tunnel from the Swiss Cats Blog. Our cats have enough toys so I asked Claire if she could have it sent to the Shelter where we adopted Chris. It is called Sav-R-Cats in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, near Myrtle Beach.

Yesterday I was informed that they received the tunnel as well as a few other things I wasn’t expecting. They posted this photo on their Facebook page and said I could use it. The caption is the text from the post.

This is our is a gift we just received from Switzerland. Chuck Huss adopted a kitty from us named Chris several years ago he entered a contest and won!!! So he was so nice and had it sent to us. A cat tunnel mice and cat treats. Thank you so much Chuck for thinking of us I know the cats will enjoy them.

Judging from the photos, the tunnel and mice look like high quality items. Plus the kitties got some cool treats to share. It looks like three of them are waiting for the picture taking to be over so they can dive in.

Cat at Petsmart Desperate for Attention


I bought cat litter this morning at Petsmart and couldn’t help but check out the cats in their adoption center. I had no intention of adopting a cat today but I feel bad that they are stuck in small cages so I thought they might like a little attention. I could not have imagined how desperate one of the cats there was for that attention.

She is an 11-month-old female and she really needs a home. The one-year-old male next to her was also needing attention but he was not as obvious about it.

This cat is at the North Clearwater, Florida location. If anyone is in the area and is looking for a pet, I think she would be a great choice. If you know someone in the Tampa Bay area that might be interested, please share.

Surviving Hurricane Irma With Cats – Part Two


If you missed part one of this story you can see it here.

I didn’t want to leave the house we rented as a shelter. It was too much stress to pack up the cats again and I thought we would be fine where we were but Rose felt the storm’s path made it unsafe and I wanted her to feel comfortable about where we were, so we quickly got our stuff together and put the cats in the carriers. This time we put Chris in the small carrier and somehow managed to get three cats in the big carrier. It wasn’t the most comfortable for the boys but they were okay.

My electric car did not have enough charge to get there so I had to stop at a charging station on the way. Fortunately, that was easier than finding gas.

When we got to Felice and Jeff’s house they had a bedroom set up for us with two litter boxes. We put the cats inside and that is where they stayed. Everbody hid under the bed at first, even Chris, who was way more stressed than I expected him to be.

I’m sure the room was full of smells from the resident cats and that was probably why Frankie spent the first two hours hissing and whacking everyone, even Rose and me. The cats that gave up their room were not happy either.

Surprisingly, it was little, shy Floki that come out from under the bed first.

Eventually, Chris and Frankie came out too.

Watching the weather became old very quick but we would turn it on periodically to see if anything new developed. I tried to hang out with the cats occasionally to help keep them calm but I also didn’t want to be rude and ignore the people in the house.

I got to see Puck use the litter box for the second time in as many days and thought that there was a silver lining in all this.

litter boxes

At one point we heard the storm made landfall at Marco Island, near Naples. That was much farther south than expected and good news for us because a hurricane that moves over land loses its energy. Of course, it was not good for the people in the Naples area.

The worst of the storm was supposed to occur between midnight and 4:00 a.m. Since all the windows were covered there seemed no point to stay up to watch it so we went to bed a little after 10:00. By that time we never saw anything worse than some rain and a heavy breeze.

I guess Rose and I were pretty tired because we slept through the worst of it and woke up around 5:00. We didn’t want to wake anybody so it was more than an hour before I could look outside. When I did I saw little evidence that a hurricane passed us by. Jeff had an app on his phone that said wind speeds reached 105 miles per hour where we were at around midnight. I was amazed it didn’t wake us up. I was also amazed that we never lost power.

The county that we live in, Pinellas, closed its borders. They would not let anyone in until they declared the roads safe to drive on. That meant we had to stay a while before we could leave for home. I spent the time watching the weather and taking pictures of the resident cats. The picture below is the grown-up kitten we wanted to adopt before Floki but Felice and Jeff claimed him first (see here). The cat outside is one of three strays that took shelter in the garage.

At 10:00 a.m I heard the roads were open so we packed our stuff up and put the cats their carriers. This time Felice gave us a carrier so they were all able to ride home in relative comfort.

A tree had fallen over the road out so I had to turn around and go around the block. The damage to buildings in the area seemed minimal, except for an unlucky few. There were a fair number of trees down and lots of branches on the roads but overall it was much better than expected. Almost half the traffic lights were out and everyone here thinks they need to treat them as a two-way stop. I think the most surprising thing I saw was a billboard that looked like Godzilla attacked it.

Forgive the quality, this is a partial frame from a dash cam video.

I went straight home with the cats and Rose went to check on her mother’s house. Her home survived but she had no power. When I entered our neighborhood, I saw two homes at the end of our street with part of their roofs ripped off. There was also a palm tree lying half way across the street. That worried me a little but the only damage I saw to our house was that three large planters blew over and two of them cracked, one of which was already cracked. We even had power and our alarm clock wasn’t blinking so we never lost power.

I brought the cats inside and they were so happy to be back. None of them lingered in the carrier for even a second. It wasn’t long before they were all on the bed ready for a nap. It was like we had never left.