Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cat enclosures - they save lives

Not only do they keep your cats safe from predators -like coyotes -they keep many small creatures alive who could easily become kitty hors d'oeuvres.

While chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits are often victims, it's the wild bird population that is especially hurt by free roaming cats.

I always said it was a great cosmic joke.
My yard had been landscaped to be a safe haven for birds...and then the kitties arrived. It was clear that something needed to be done.
As we built the outside enclosure my cats watched intently from behind the screen door. I will never forget the day we opened that door and they walked outside. The four of them began chattering non-stop. They chirped and squeaked with delight. It was easy to imagine them saying “What IS this?” and “Is this really for US?”
We hung a birdhouse on a tree branch within the enclosure, and Pippen would sit there all day…just hoping.

Over the years the kitties have enjoyed many happy hours in their outside playground. However, I often wonder if I have had the better part of the bargain, for watching them playing outside…safely…brings me great joy.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and the Audubon Society of Portland have partnered on an awareness campaign to encourage people to keep their cats inside homes or enclosures. Oregon Public Broadcasting aired an excellent program on this subject. You can watch that video here:
There are some things in life we may not be able to impact, but keeping wildlife safe from our dear kitties IS something we can control.
By the way - dogs like cat enclosures, too!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tia's Cat Enclosure

My cat enclosure – it brings me almost as much joy as it brings my kitties! Seeing the four of them romping around out there really does my heart good!

When people send me pictures of their enclosures I get so excited!I know their felines are well loved and are having as much fun outside as my cats do.
Linda Taylor, from Tacoma WA, sent me these pictures of the enclosure they built for their cat, Tia. Talk about beautiful!
Linda said they chose a fencing that was plastic, and not firm, because critters are afraid it might be a net and they don’t even try to get through it.
Here’s Tia on the inside perch that looks out into her enclosure:
If your kitties are longing to go outside, I hope you'll consider building them a screened-in enclosure. That way, the cats can be safely out in the fresh air, and all the little critters who visit your yard (birds, chipmunks, squirrels, etc.) will be safe, too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Angels

Every time I see this picture I can feel my heart smiling!

Here in Portland, Oregon iron workers building an addition to the Shriners Hospital for kids have found a way to celebrate the children who are patients at the hospital. Using fluorescent spray paint, the workers have been writing messages of love to the kids on the steel framework!

Talk about earth angels!


Monday, April 20, 2009

One bunny - ADOPTED!

I have wonderful news!

The bunny I found on my road the week before Easter has been adopted! On Easter Sunday she was featured on a news segment that was telecast from the Oregon Humane Society. The next day she was adopted.

It is interesting that my favorite book of all time is Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is the story of a group of rabbits who embark on a difficult journey to find a safe place to live and raise their families.

Under the guidance of Hazel, their wise and humble leader, they find exactly what they are looking for.

May this sweet bunny live a long and happy life, safely tucked in the arms of her loving family.

That's what Hazel would want!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beautiful MA – who saw the world with her heart

It started with a phone call. Deborah Stevenson, who lives in California, called to ask about sending copies of my book For Every Cat An Angel to some friends.

Deborah told me about the loss of MA, her beautiful blind kitty, who had left this life on March 11, 2009. Her story touched my heart deeply.

These are Deborah’s own words:

“MA, named after the Divine Mother, was born in 1997 and left at the local pound 4 years later. She was born blind and was unwanted. I was moved to go to the pound in 2001 and found MA.

MA was my angel until 11 March 09. I was her seeing-eye person. She kissed everyone, sat in my lap during my meditations, and brought joy and light into my life until her death during anesthesia for a cat scan.”

Deborah told me in the evening she would walk MA on a leash through the neighborhood, and how much everyone adored her beloved kitty. All you have to do is look at these pictures of MA to see how special she was.

As it says in The Little Prince, “What is important can only be seen with the heart.” MA understood this.

We will miss you, MA.

With love,

The Winner at Doggie Obedience School

Monday, April 13, 2009

Luna's Memory Lives On

Last November I was honored to write about Luna, the beloved furry companion of Sandra Thomas. Sandra had sent me a picture of Luna shortly before her beautiful German Shepherd Dog left this earthly life.

As you can see, it certainly looked as if Luna had caught a glimpse of the Rainbow Bridge she would soon be crossing.

Luna lost her battle with hemangiosarcoma on September 16, 2008, but her memory now lives on with the establishment of The Luna Award for Advances in Canine Cancer Research.

Read more about Luna's inspiring story, and the presentation of the first Luna Award, at - the website for three-legged dogs and the two-legged companions who love them.

Lighthearted Press

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bunny needs a loving home

A few days ago I blogged about the beautiful white bunny that showed up on my road. With all the predators in our woods I knew the little thing wouldn’t last long, so I took it in for the night and then brought it to the Oregon Humane Society.

Turns out my overnight houseguest was a girl – and OHS has named her Shirley. I found her to be very sweet, trusting and completely at ease around me.

If there are any Oregonians out there looking to bring a rabbit into their home I hope you will go and visit Shirley – she’s a real sweetheart.

To learn more about Shirley click here.

Happy Easter!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What Makes a Mother?

Last week was the third anniversary of losing my Mom to Alzheimer’s Disease. It feels like it was just yesterday – the memories of those final days are still so clear in my mind.

What makes a mother? Take a peek at this
video to see what true mothering is all about.

Aren't animals amazing?


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Really, Mom, the bunny ate my salad!

Even after living here for 18 years I never get over how wonderful it is to interact with the wildlife. We have deer, raccoons, coyotes, possums, squirrels, hawks, owls, many kinds of birds…and rabbits. The rabbits are brown, with white tails.

At least that was true until this week. Then a little white bunny showed up on my road, moving in and out of the blackberry bushes. I brought the little thing some lettuce and carrots, and it took the food from my hand, then walked around and nuzzled up next to me.
It’s possible someone dumped the bunny in the woods where I live. Maybe they thought it would move in with the resident wild bunnies. But this little one was so sweet, so tame and so trusting it didn’t seem to have strong survival skills. Not to mention it was bright white – hard to hide that coat from predators.
It was clear the bunny needed some help. I bought some rabbit bedding for my cat carrier and lifted the bunny into its temporary home. I had to laugh – it was easier picking up the bunny then catching some of my cats.
My furry houseguest spent the night in my safe, warm home and then I took it to the Oregon Humane Society this morning. It was with me for less than 18 hours, but I cried as I filled out the paperwork. I think it was the rabbit's effortless ability to trust me that touched my heart so deeply. Maybe “trust” is something I need to explore.
I thought I was meant to help this sweet rabbit…now I think maybe we were meant to help each other.