Tag Archives: South Carolina

And the Winners are… The Shelter Cats


A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Ellen of the blog 15 and Meowing. She said we won the prize in their Halloween giveaway, The prizes were supposed to be a catnip mat, a catnip ghost, a magnet and a button skull but when I asked that she send the prize to Chris’s old shelter, Sav-R-Cats, in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, Ellen decided to make more catnip toys, 20 in all, so the cats at the shelter could enjoy them. Isn’t she wonderful?

I got the following pictures from Shirley, the shelter manager at Sav-R-Cats, and it looks like the prizes were a hit.

cats with toys at sav-r-cats cat shelter cats with toys at sav-r-cats cat shelter cats with toys at sav-r-cats cat shelter

I’m grateful to Ellen and her crew and happy that these homeless cats have something to brighten their days a little. I know that they are well taken care of there, but I still hope all will find a loving home soon.

Advertisements

The Great Upheaval


Sixteen months after moving to Myrtle Beach, it was time to go back to Florida. Rose was asked to manage the property she left when she was an assistant manager. It was another promotion for her since the Florida property was more than double the size of the Myrtle Beach property. More importantly, we really wanted to go back to where we belonged.

Since Rose did not want to live on the property, we ended up renting a condo at the same complex that we used to own. We knew it was nice there and did not want any unpleasant surprises, since we couldn’t see the rentals first hand.

The big problem was that renting almost always means two pets. This place had a two pet rule in their bylaws. When we owned it was easier to sneak in a few extra cats, but as a renter, forget it. We decided we could get away with no more than three. That meant that two cats had to go. It was something I was not prepared to do and even tried to talk Rose into moving into one of her own apartments. At least I would have some pull with the landlord. Unfortunately, that did not work.

It was decided that Princess was an obvious choice because she didn’t like any of the other cats and absolutely despised Abbey. She would spend her days hiding under Rose’s dressing table and hiss and growl at Abbey when she came in the same room. Tony, the maintenance supervisor, took Princess for his little girls, who planned on spoiling her.

The next choice was difficult. Chris, we knew, could not be tolerated by anybody and would wind up back at the shelter so, in this case, being bad was good, for him anyway.

That left Tigger and the sister and brother, Abbey and Alex. It was not a matter of which one we cared about more, it was who we thought would be less affected by the separation. In this case, being good was bad. Alex turned out to be the better choice to stay behind because he wasn’t as needy. He also seemed to have become more of a loner as he aged. Don’t get me wrong, he was one of the friendliest cat I knew, he just was becoming less social with the other cats.

One of my last photos of Alex with Chris, of course, on top of him.

Alan, the maintenance technician, took Alex. It was nice to know our cats had someone to take care of them. I could not leave them in a cage at a shelter.

I brought Alex to Alan’s apartment a couple of days before we left and then went over a couple of times to visit him. He seemed happy there. I hated to leave him but that’s life sometimes.

I decided to plan the drive to Florida better than the drive to South Carolina. The first time we drove straight through and that was hard on the cats. This time I calculated the half-way point to be somewhere near the Florida border. I had checked hotels in Brunswick Georgia and Jacksonville Florida and found the ones near the expressway that took pets. This time we were going to leave later in the day and spend the night at a hotel.

Truck driver Rose with the cats.

On November 12, 2010, we spent all morning and part of the afternoon loading the rental truck. When that was done, we were left with the hard part, packing the cats. We had to put the cats between us on the front seat of the truck. In the large carrier, we put Tigger and Abbey because they get along well together. Chris went on top in the small carrier because we thought he would appreciate being able to look out the window.

The cats were pretty good for the most part and we made it to Jacksonville before stopping for the night. They were all happy to be out of their boxes, especially Chris, who had to investigate every nook and cranny of the hotel room.

The next day we drove the rest of the way to Dunedin. When we arrived we had two men come and help us unload the truck. That took many hours and the cats had to be shut up in the bathroom the entire time. I supposed after being in a truck all morning, it was a welcome respite.

Our new place had two levels and Chris shot up and down the stairs like an old pro. He would sometimes skip two or three stairs as he bounded down, usually hitting the ground floor and sliding into the bathroom door. Abbey, however, would come down very carefully, first the two front feet then the two rear feet, one step at a time.

Our new home with screen-less patio.

The biggest problem with our new home was that our patio was not screened nor could it be, so the cats had to stay inside. The other cats didn’t mind but poor Chris was like a bird with no wings.

Life before Chris


Before I tell you about Chris, I feel I need to describe our circumstances that led to his adoption. I guess the best place to start is with another bad cat, Holly.

My sister-in-law is a cat lover who works at a vet and has adopted several wayward cats along the way. One cat, Holly, stands out among the others because of all the trouble she is constantly getting into. Whenever we visit there, my wife, Rose, would get a kick out of Holly’s antics. We would always joke that we were going to take her home because she is such a character.

Holly investigating Gifts

Of course, we were not serious because we had five cats of our own. The oldest cat princess we got as a kitten around 2002. She was part of a litter of feral cats and somehow had most of her tail ripped off. Rose felt bad for the tailless kitten (with fleas) so we took her in. She turned out to be an affectionate, but demanding…cat.

Princess

The next two cats, Abbey and Alex, who happen to be brother and sister, we adopted in 2005 when they were about a year old. Alex was a very friendly cat who liked everyone and Abbey was very shy but affectionate, once she got to know you.

Tigger and Flash came next. Tigger was adopted by Rose’s mom but the shelter called the next day wanting him back because his brother could not be separated from him. Since her mom was not ready for two cats, we took them both. Tigger was a very friendly kitten but his brother, Flash was extremely nervous. We named him Flash because when you tried to pet him he was gone in a flash. He did eventually warm up to me but he stayed nervous around strangers.

Clockwise from left: Abbey, Flash, Alex and Tigger

In the summer of 2009 my wife got a promotion and transfer from Florida to South Carolina. Princess stayed with Rose’s son, Nick and the other four went with us. I had some difficulty finding a job there and when I did it was part-time. I worked about 30 hours a week depending on demand and decided to Volunteer my extra time.

I started at the Myrtle Beach Humane Society. They needed dog walkers and people to let cats out of their cages for exercise. I decided to help with the cats but soon realized it was like spitting in the ocean. They had over 200 cats, most in small cages by themselves. If that wasn’t bad enough, we were only allowed to take one cat out at a time and it seemed only a small percentage would get out of their cage on any given day. I felt bad leaving there because they really needed the help but I needed to do something more meaningful.

My neighbor volunteered at a place called Sav-R-Cats so I decided to give that a try. The Sav-R-Cats shelter was quite smaller than the Humane Society and a bit disorganized but I liked the fact that the cats were in much bigger cages and most were let out during the day to play with each other. Many cats did not even have cages and were left out 24/7. It was here that I was able to actually contribute and it was here that I would meet trouble with a capital C.

Sav-R-Cats shelter

Next time I will talk about my first encounter with Chris and how we ended up adopting him.