Another Day in the LIfe of the Not-So-Crazy Cat Lady

Praying For A Miracle

Praying For A Miracle

I think that most–if not all!–Not-So-Crazy Cat Ladies really GET Philippians 4:6…”Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The cat lady’s work ranges far beyond constant caring and frequent emergency intervention to encompass all those other little daily concerns (like, food, water, electricuty, vet bills, and more month than there is money) that the average Joe deals with, multiplied to furry infinity.  But the work never ends, because people who simply DON’T care about their pets pile up discarded cats and dogs to fend for themselves, probably thinking, “Oh, somebody will come along and pick them up.”  Enter  my not-so-crazy cat lady.

I believe that God honors “pure worship,” which He addresses specifically, defining worship as caring for those in need, without caring about any reward.  This is where miracles come in.  But God also often uses people to make the miracles, which is where the cat ladies step in.  My grace-filled cat lady is a daily miracle worker, who feeds, heals, restores and loves what other people have thrown away.  And, by the way, she may be gentle with the kitties, but she can be ferocious, too, under the weight of the ignorance and wilfull stupidity that she encounters every day, seeing trusting pets thrown away without a backward glance, and fighting the various atrocities committed against animals by our civilized society.  It’s like a kind of war out there.

But this battle takes money, folks.

Precious cat ladies, the Lord sees what you do in secret, and miracles abound.

Praying for a Miracle

Praying for a Miracle

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Introducing the “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady

Not So Crazy Cat Lady Art
The “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady

Meet my heroine, the “Not-So-Crazy” Cat Lady©…as she debuts in this first painting in my new series.

Inspired by the many real-life  “cat ladies” of my acquaintance, this “Not-So-Crazy” cat lady purr-sonifies the character, charm, wit, self-sacrifice, faithfulness, beauty and LOVE of special women who choose to rescue cats.
 
As I observe the unremitting efforts of these ladies in my town of Pensacola, Florida, who lavish  precious time and much of their personal income on helping discarded, abused, homeless and feral cats–as well as assisting people who are devoted to their pets, but have difficulty providing for them–I am absolutely humbled by what I see.  While the majority of our citizens pursue personal gratification, these ladies pour themselves out to contribute to our community and ease animal suffering. 
 
I personally know “crazy cat ladies,” as they are so laughingly referred to, who trap, neuter, release, foster, feed (neutered) feral colonies, finance veterinary care, help seniors with their pets, deliver pet food to poor families, run adoption events and sponsor food drives for rescue organizations–all pursuits that the average person doesn’t even think about.  The  hours for these activities are “24/7.”  These is no pay, there are no benefits.  There is constant resistance from various “public servants,” and unbelievable apathy on the part of the average person. 
 
These “crazy” ladies take injured, senior (that’s over a year or two old!), and otherwise “unadoptable” kitties from the local kill “shelter,” oversee their healing, and find them homes.  They weep at the hundreds and hundreds of innocent cats euthanized at the same pound every month, tirelessly exhort an uncaring populace to spay and neuter their animals so there won’t BE so many innocents killed, make huge dents in their personal finances to pay for neuter surgery after neuter surgery, and spend months of effort on fundraising events.
 
Finally, they endure constant criticism of their efforts by the ignorant, and accusations that “they care more about animals than they do about people.”  Yet, caring for animals improves a community’s quality of life, and these precious ladies often minister as much to people as to cats!
 
Few people notice them, know their names, or give them any praise at all.  Fortunately, their reward is not in praise or notice, but in  knowing that a cat has finally found a home, and that a family has been enriched by a loving little presence.
 
Maybe these “crazy cat ladies” are not so crazy, after all.
 
I am awed and inspired by their patience and persistence.  They make a difference.   I am so glad that God sees what they do, and blesses them abundantly, as they lay up treasure in heaven!
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The Many Lives of Midnight Louie

Smudgie Rescued

Smudgie Rescued

Smudgie grown up
Smudgie Grown Up

Whether you read for creative inspiration or simple relaxation, I’m pretty sure you’d fall in love with Midnight Louie!

 Back in 1992, Carole Nelson Douglas, insired by her own original, real-life Midnight Louie, a sleek, well-muscled totally “noir” former street cat, wrote the first book in her murders-investigated-and-solved-by-kitty series, Catnap.  The second volume, Pussyfoot, was succeeded by an alphabetized list of titles–Cat on a Blue Monday, Cat in a Crimson Haze–and continues with the current offering, Cat in a White Tie and Tails.  The series unfolds in Las Vegas…purrfect!  (Even Elvis gets into the act.)

 I discovered a few random volumes at our local library.  Having greedily devoured each one (picture Midnight Louie scarfing down fresh koi, his guilty favorite), I embarked (sorry, canine reference…) on purr-chasing the volumes in proper sequence, the better to savor my own new literary favorite.  While each story stands alone, the enticing references to past adventures were just too much–I had to know the whole story!!

 I don’t spend my hard-earned art dollars frivolously–so what makes these particular books investment-worthy?  “My Miss Douglas” (as Midnight Louie would turn the phrase) has created a kitty with a particular VOICE, which I find irresistible.  Picture a feline detective who conveys Bogart, James Bond, Sam Spade and appropriate cattitude, without even breaking a sweat or twitching a single whisker out of alignment.

 The “Midnight Louie” series offers fantastic writing, page-turning plot development, wry social commentary, congenial human and animal characters–a feast of feline fiction!  As I am definitely as purr-snickety as a cat in my reading selections, this is purr-aise indeed!

My own “Midnight Louie” character–Prince Shadow Ravenclaw, AKA “Smudgie,”–is supervising this writing session.   In the first photo, Smudgie, newly rescued, weighed in at 1.76 pounds, including fleas!  He was a mess–blindly bouncing off a curb in a major commercial district, infested with parasites…he went straight to the vet, then endured several weeks of bathing, combing and medicating.  Now, a year later, Smudgine is the cat he was meant to be:  sleek, muscular, and an exemplary big brother to our newest kittens.  

Smudgie insists upon due credit; this book review was his idea.  He likes Midnight Louie, too.

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A Tale of Two Kitties (Plus Two)

In the Tunnel O'Cats

Cat Family Dinner (clockwise, from top: Mickey, 19 years; Willow ELizabeth, 3 years; Smudgie, 1 year; Spooky Whispurr, 2 months; Hyacinth Snow, 2 months)

Uncle SMudgie Babysitting

It all started at the beginning of summer…Black and white kitty, the neighborhood “stud”–in every sense of the word–got a poor feral mom pregnant again! Our neighbors, dear peopple in their eighties, had undertaken what many younger folks would never try: to trap and neuter several feral cats, while feeding and watching over the kitty mom and her daughter. Stud-boy was actually trapped once, but escaped. After weeks of trying, mom and daughter are now safe from further litters! Which brings me to the tale of two kitties….Just before mom was trapped, she had one more litter, resulting in two precious kitties, one white, one black. Our intrepid neighbor managed a successful snatch-and-grab, and the babies ended up in a temporary condo at my house. Well, the best plans change on a daily basis, and instead of being whisked off to the local adoption angels, Hyacinth Snow and Spooky Whispurr were instead whisked off to my vet, bathed and made presentable, and summarily introduced into our own kitty heaven. After a week of wary overlooks by Smudgie, Mickey and Willow Elizabeth, the newbies are now fully accepted into our clowder, and spend their waking hours thundering from cat tree to tunnel o’cats, in between their devouring of gargantuan meals and plaguing of poor old Uncle Mickey, our 19-year-old! So we have at least one happy ending cat tale…it IS worth the effort to TNR (trap, neuter, release), and the moral of the story remains: “There’s always room for one more cat!

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Book review: Tales from a Dog Catcher

Our Precious

An unpretentious volume that you might pass by, if you saw it on the library shelf, this is one of those wonderful discoveries that you will instantly want to add to your animal tales collection! Author Lisa Duffy-Korpics offers a heart-warming-and-rending collection of chapters on special cats, dogs (and other creatures) she saved–or lost–while working as an animal control officer. I found myself devouring each story, connecting with Lisa in each joyful and successful or frustrating encounter. I’ve always wanted to be an animal rescue super-hero, able to leap in and make things RIGHT for every animal on earth. Lisa’s stories are a real-life version of this dream, but grounded in stark reality. Sometimes, all you can do is try your best, and cry afterwards. As when we saved our Precious, it was too littIe, too late, but at least we got to love her. I loved this book!! Every good thing counts.

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Losing Precious

Almost Christmas…Precious had fully claimed her household space (my husband’s former spot on the left side of the sofa!) and we were making plans, as usual, for a small family get-together.

But suddenly, something just wasn’t right.

Continue reading

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Finding Precious…

Precious

Precious

When you are “anointed” for adopting cats and dogs, you never know when the next one will show up.  But you know for absolute certain that it’s only a matter of time.

I just happened to be in our vet’s office for some routine thing or other, and  waiting with   met a young couple on their way out with a painfully skinny old dog in tow.  This dog had an apparently perpetual smile in place—no Continue reading

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Feline Urinary Tract Disease

by Dr. Gina Forgey, DVM

Dr. Gina has kindly agreed to share this excellent information as a “guest” blog author today.  She is a personal friend, and owns “Safe Harbor Animal Hospital” here in Pensacola, Florida.  They are located at 820 Creighton Road, and you may call them at 850-476-5571.  I am honored that Dr. Gina is willing to share her professional expertise! Continue reading

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It’s a GREYT day to bake some biscuits!

Sometimes even a busy dog-mother has to take some time to bake home-made treats!  Yes, I DO occasionally bring home a box of commercial dog-cookeis (We just tried Three Dog Bakery’s carob chip cookies, and the pack LOVED them!).  However, I really do prefer to make my own; I control the ingredients, and NEVER use artificial preservatives. Continue reading

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Art Gallery Opening – Gumbo Gallery and Gallery Zarragossa

Today is all about the “ART” part of  “The Art of Loving Cats and Dogs.”

This is an announcement for all of our local (Pensacola, Florida, and surrounding areas) friends…

I display my cat and dog art in two local galleries, Gumbo Gallery (at Belmont and Devilliers), and Gallery Zarragossa (at it’s new Government Street location).  So this is a reminder to all that this coming Friday is Pensacola’s famous “Gallery Night” event, a great Continue reading

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