Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oregon kittens left to perish - can you help?

It's hard to understand how someone could have left these three kittens to die, but that's exactly what happened. They were put in a baby's playpen and left outside in the yard - with no food, no water and no shelter.

The other day I wrote about Mary Anne Miller, an Oregon animal lover...and earth angel. Mary Anne has come to the rescue once again. These kittens are in her care, but they need a good home.

Please check out my last blog for more info about Mary Anne. If you're a cat lover you'll want to visit her award winning website http://www.felinexpress.com, and also her all-things-kitten site http://www.kitten-rescue.com.

To learn more about these furballs and the other critters under her wing (told you she's an angel!) please email Mary Anne at love@felinexpress.com.

Let's find a loving home for these kitties soon!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

KSLF – Kitten Seeks Loving Family

Meet Sinclair, a 3-month old long-hair kitten who is looking for a home. This beautiful little furball just loves to cuddle and be held. Hard to imagine someone would have dropped him down a dry well when he was 4 weeks old!

At least Sinclair was lucky enough to find his way to Mary Anne Miller, who lives in Sweet Home, OR. Mary Anne provides online resources for cat lovers at her fabulous website
http://www.felinexpress.com. This site was awarded the 2006 and 2007 Muse Medallion for Online Magazine by The Cat Writers’ Association http://www.catwriters.org in their annual Communications Contest.

You can also check out her other website, http://www.kitten-rescue.com, for all things kitty-related.

Cats have a true friend in Mary Anne Miller. When she hears of felines in need of a home…and some TLC…she takes them in, makes sure they get the medical care they need and helps with their socialization skills so they will be adoption-ready. The adoption fee is $40.00. She currently has cats of all ages and colors in her care.

If you have a lap in need of a cat I hope you’ll contact Mary Anne a
t love@felinexpress.com. If you live in or near the Portland, OR area Mary Anne can even help with transporting the kitty to its new home.

When asked how he feels about being adopted, Sinclair stretched, purred and said he’s ready to find his forever family.

All I can say is MEOW!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Perfect Moment

Last week I wrote about my intention to become aware of the joyous moments in my life. They don’t have to be huge events. In fact, sometimes they are very small…and quiet. Perhaps that’s why we miss them.

I experienced one of these moments yesterday. It was close to sunset, and I was snuggled in the pillows on my couch, reading a lovely book. The last rays of light were streaming in through the French doors. A few Stellar’s Jays were picking at the bird seed up on the hill.

It was cool, and I had the fireplace going. Three of my 4 cats were in the room with me – one on the couch, one on the chair and one on my lap. I looked up from my book and suddenly realized how still everything was – like a beautiful scene from a movie.

“This is a perfect moment” I said out loud.

And it was.


Friday, September 19, 2008

In Memory of Scooby Doo

Over the years I’ve shared many tearful conversations with people who’ve had to say goodbye to a beloved animal companion. My own heart holds all the memories of the many critters I have loved and lost.

But when I heard about Scooby Doo, a special dog whose life ended all too soon, I asked the family if I could share his story so that other dog lovers might be spared the pain they are living with now. The family graciously agreed.

This is Pearl and Muffet Arroll, relaxing with their dogs Scooby Doo (on the upper right) and Charlie Bear (next to him on the left.) The girls, Sadie Belle and Chopper Do, are hanging out below.

About 5 years ago Scooby Doo and Charlie Bear were found wandering around the Georgia mountains by the Arroll family. The pups were only a few months old, and, it turned out, belonged to someone who wasn't able to take care of them. So a deal was struck - money for a go-cart in trade for the dogs. As I read Muffet Arroll’s words about these sweet dogs it was clear the Arroll family traded very well that day!

Fast forward 5 years to this past Labor Day weekend. The Arrolls were spending the holiday at a lake that had been a family favorite for over 30 years. As Muffet wrote, “Anyone who is a dog lover knows how much they like the water and particularly love to have their ears flying in the wind on the boat.”

That was Scooby Doo – a powerful swimmer who LOVED the water. But his strength failed him over the weekend. An unexpected wave hit and Scooby fell off the front of the ski boat. He must have been struck by the boat, and he went down into the lake before anyone could help him.

Charlie Bear cried as the family road around in their boat, trying to find their lost friend. Divers were hired, but Scooby could not be located in the deep, cold water. Muffet said that maybe Scooby’s body was meant to remain in the lake that he loved so much.

When I learned about the circumstances that took Scooby Doo's life I felt that dog lovers everywhere needed to hear this story. My own city - Portland, Oregon - was voted Dog Town USA in 2006 by Dog Fancy Magazine. Oregon is a tapestry of rivers and lakes, often overflowing with boats full of happy people…and their dogs! I wonder how many people know the risk of bringing their dogs with them on the water?

Here’s what Muffet Arrroll said about this tragedy:

“We have had to learn a horrible lesson that there is danger in the lake for our pets no matter how great they are around the water. We pray that no one else has to experience the pain associated with this type of accident. If another pet can be saved by the story, it makes Scooby’s life and tragic death that much more meaningful.”

Farewell, Scooby Doo. You were deeply loved, and will be greatly missed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Finding Joy

It’s the beginning of the school year, and even though my school days are far behind me it’s never too late to learn something new.

So I gave myself an assignment: become aware of what brings me joy.

I thought it would be simple. Turns out…not so simple.

As a former New Yorker who tends to move quickly through life, I realized I was going to have to do something very important to complete my assignment. I was going to have to slow down, and consciously...deliberately...become aware of all the magical, mystical, miraculous and perfectly wonderful things that are happening all around me.

So what makes me smile? You can’t write the kind of heartfelt books I write about animals and NOT find overwhelming happiness in the presence of critters. That’s a given. But I wondered if there were other precious moments, when I felt completely content and happy, that were simply passing me by. So I began my journey of joy, curious to see what I might discover.

The other day I was racing through a large fabric store, on a mission to look for a certain type of material. I go to this store all the time. I can navigate easily through the many aisles, I recognize the sales people and I know when the best sales occur.

On this particular day something made me stop in my tracks. For the first time I realized how much I LOVED being in this store, surrounded by employees and other “craft-minded” people who are passionate about sewing. The smell of the fabric, the sound of scissors cutting material off bolts, the voices of customers wondering if this particular print would work for living room drapes…I was in heaven!

And all I had to do was slow down and become aware of this lovely little moment.

And then I remembered something. Our community just organized a Neighborhood Watch program, and I’ve had the pleasure of helping to get this new program off the ground. After several meetings and lots of emails, the neighborhood agreed that given the cars that race around our loop there was one thing we needed to do right away. We collected some money, and just last week I placed the order for our first investment in the welfare of our community.

I ordered four SLOW DOWN signs.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Oops - She Did it Again!

Last week I wrote about how fabulous kitties are at playing hide and seek. My little girl, Star, is especially talented at this game. Usually it's at night when I have trouble finding her, for her tiny, black figure disappears into the dark.

Today it was broad daylight and once again - I COULD NOT FIND HER! I looked all over the house, and checked the outside kitty enclosure several times. Nothing.

And then I saw her - can you find the black cat in this picture?

How about now?

Yes, that black shadow inside the barrel planter is her. This is the first time in 7 years I have ever seen her do this.

I really need to talk to that girl!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Visitor from Colorado

It's always fun when animal lovers I've met through my books come to visit Oregon.

Carol Vogel, from Good Samaritan Pet Center in Denver, was in Portland over the Labor Day weekend to visit with her family. Here we are, along with her furry "niece" Moppy - aren't we a happy group?

Carol was here in December 2007. Her visit coincided with a book-signing event I was doing at a local animal shelter, and I was delighted when she stopped by.

Carol is such an upbeat, joyous person - and a true critter lover. My only regret is that she isn't a full-time Portland resident.

Come back soon, Carol!