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kyle cassidy

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love your four legged beasties [Jan. 21st, 2010|07:16 am]
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[mood |worried for zoe]

This summer while working on Where I Write I stayed at Castle Gaiman for a week and met Neil's cat, Zoe, who is blind.



She lives in the turret, wary of the Great Rambunctious Dog that lives downstairs but can't get through the cat door (much to his dismay). She spends most of her days on a bed, resting comfortably. But when a person comes into the room the lifts her head into the air and makes noise "mewp! mewp!" as if to say "I'm here! I know you can't see me, so I shall make this noise to guide you!" And when you scratch her head she appreciates it like no other cat. And when you leave, she makes the noise again, lifting her head as though to say "foul winds have blown you from me! you are lost! I shall make this noise so that you can find me again!" -- and, of course, you can't leave, so you go back and pet her again and again.

"I used to try and write in the turret," Neil told me, "but the only thing that would happen was that I'd pet Zoe all day." This is not in, and of itself, a bad thing but it interrupts the Great Works of Literature.

Whenever there was down time (when I wasn't out photographing some author or eating dinner or looking at the bees) I would say "I'm going upstairs to pet Zoe," and Neil would smile and say "that sound like a loovely thing to do. She would like that very much."

Well, we found out last night that Zoe's got a tumor of some sort, no news apart from that. But at 14 years old, it could be grim.

Love up the ones you have. And if you have a favorite charity that helps out animals in need -- list it in the comments and we'll spread some joy in the name of Zoe, who stole my heart.

My favorite is Citty Kitties the West Philadelphia stray cat rescue group.






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[User Picture]From: birdhousefrog
2010-01-21 01:30 pm (UTC)

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My favorite is Casey's House in Bluemont, VA. Goliath came from there first, an 11 year old who needed a home because county officials said his owner had too many cats and horses. Goliath lights up my life every day. You can see him on blurb.com under "Meet Our Cats" Miss E's first book. We began giving Casey's House $20 a month about 18 months ago, automatic check so we wouldn't forget. Cindy has about 80 cats as permanent residents and is trying to raise capital to build a new shelter and/or get a trailer for live-in help. And Casey's House is instrumental in the trap, neuter, release program in our area so feral cats don't have to live their lives out in a cattery, but can live in the great outdoors where they really want to be.

This year, Cindy at Casey's House rescued a large feral colony that lives outside a McDonald's in Waterloo, VA. The adults were TNR, about 30 cats or more. Several litters of kittens were caught and socialized for adoption. We have five of those kittens now, two girls and three boys, giving them a home where they can play outside on 10 safe acres, but also be warm and fed and loved inside as well. Not a dud in the bunch. It's amazing to us that cats from such a small gene pool can have such diverse personalities.

They're all fighting colds, typical cat viruses and three of them have been hit hardest, resulting in vet bills like we've never seen before. But we can afford the vet bills. We just wish we could do more for Cindy and Casey's House.

Casey's House is: http://www.caseyshouse.org/

Oz
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-01-21 01:38 pm (UTC)

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thanks for that
[User Picture]From: spacedlaw
2010-01-21 01:33 pm (UTC)

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I am lucky enough to share the petting and loving experience and it was sad news to wake up to. Zoe is such a love starved creature (she was even so before she got blind) and always happy to spread quite thick coat of love and hair on whomever gets close enough to pet her.
I hope she might be fine still but she does come across as a most unfortunate creature, the poor mite. I shall keep fingers, toes and heart crossed, hoping for her well being. And certainly hug my own beasties a little closer tonight (no matter what they might think of that).
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-01-21 01:38 pm (UTC)

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Zoe has much love to give. She's not the "oh, enough of that now" sort by any means.
From: (Anonymous)
2010-01-21 01:34 pm (UTC)

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Our cat Flotsam has a similar dog problem—mostly by my fault, I brought the dreadful animal into our home. She spends most of her day in the bedroom, hiding or sometimes peeping out of the cat clap, like some inquisitive neighbour. (Actually it's more of a cat hole in the door, the flap's long gone.)

Let's hope good news about Zoe will come soon!
[User Picture]From: katden
2010-01-21 01:38 pm (UTC)

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Patches.
She is our Rottweiler/Dalmatian/?/ pup who has a cute little snoopy nose, quite a life story, and will have her 14th birthday on the 27th. (I wish I had some pics downloaded!)

Over the years Hubby and I have given to organizations that train and provide service animals to the disabled, but we also give to our local vet clinics in whatever city/towns we've lived in. Volunteering at a local clinic/shelter is usually met with gratitude, as is paying for the care and spay/neutering of stray animals who decide to come live in your backyard.

;)

Edited at 2010-01-21 01:39 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: lyonesse
2010-01-21 01:41 pm (UTC)

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i highly endorse http://www.siameserescue.org (where i met my enlightened soul of a bodhicatva, magpie, the perfect embodiment of love)

and i volunteer at http://www.mspca.org/adoption/methuen-nevins/ nevins farm, an awesome animal shelter where i help care for animals from horses to chickens. my riding student and our mutual friend kirkcudbright also volunteers there, and that's where he he met his awesome horse gemini.

go you for being so sweet to zoe :)
[User Picture]From: ceciskittle
2010-01-21 01:46 pm (UTC)

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It breaks my heart to think of Neil et. al. possibly losing a third cat in such a short time period. She is so beautiful. I am sending so much love.
[User Picture]From: monkeedreamer
2010-01-21 01:46 pm (UTC)

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Aww she looks precious, and sounds so sweet! I do hope she pulls through.


I would LOVE for people to give to VotK [Valley of the Kings Sanctury & Retreat], it's a big cat sanctuary in Wisconsin, they have lions, tigers, they had one of the two(?) ligers in existence until he passed on a couple years ago, they have a poor black panther who was defanged by a former owner, some smaller big cats, they have a camel or two, some horses and cows, some wolf-dogs, and a few other various critters. Everything they care for was taken in out of the generosity and good nature of the volunteers there (along with the couple who owns/runs the place), everything there was owned by people illegally, or some morons with permits who neglected the exotic creatures, and some of them even dumped at the door as food (cow) but still living, and nourished back to health instead. It is an AMAZING place with AMAZING people, and they always always always need more, they have tons of big cats that need lots of meat, and they are hard pressed to turn any animal that needs help away, which means they are often struggling to have enough for everyone.

They also have a list on their page of things that people can donate to them, or purchase for them, if they do not want to give just money. There's a page to Help Out! which lists ways one can help, and the page of their Wishlist where people can see what items they need.

It's a wonderful place that is strictly volunteer-worked, with fabulous people who would give anything to help the exotic creatures in need, they're not a huge organization where donations go to advertising and other junk, every penny they get is straight into the animals mouths. If anyone needs a worthy cause to give to, please consider them!!
[User Picture]From: karohemd
2010-01-21 01:47 pm (UTC)

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What a sweet story.
*positive kitty vibes*
[User Picture]From: katemckinnon
2010-01-21 02:09 pm (UTC)

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We just adopted a little cat from the shelter this past Monday, swelling our cat family to three. We named him the Dread Pirate Jasper, and he's excellent. I'm sorry about Zoe...
[User Picture]From: mom_o_cass
2010-01-21 02:29 pm (UTC)

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what a great name :) much happiness to your new family member :)
[User Picture]From: ohsonaked
2010-01-21 02:09 pm (UTC)

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what a lovely story and cute kitty! this is my four legged beasty:

Photobucket
willoughby! not a kitty, but he is 4 and still makes me giggle every time i look at him.
teehee!
Photobucket

i do not have a favorite animal charity, but you have inspired me to find one in my area (D.C. in case you know of any here...)!
[User Picture]From: muzikmaker21
2010-01-21 02:12 pm (UTC)

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Ally Cat Allies! I volunteered for them quite a bit when I lived in D.C.

www.allycat.org
[User Picture]From: muzikmaker21
2010-01-21 02:15 pm (UTC)

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Beautiful, beautiful kitty!

Damnit. I wish I were home to pet mine.
[User Picture]From: mom_o_cass
2010-01-21 02:32 pm (UTC)

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we have a very lovely shelter in my town - Quincy, Massachusetts - and are on ur way to adopting a new kitty. Our last kitty, Symon, was a kitty I'd rescued when his previous owner was going to 'put him to sleep' because she felt he was too wild at 6 months old!!! crazy! he lived with us and was a source of great joy and many warm snuggles until he left us in July 2007. (that's him in my icon)
i love this story about Zoe. she sounds like a sweet soul and i send her head skritches and hugs.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: niamh_sage
2010-01-21 07:54 pm (UTC)

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We got our first Aussie cats from there, when I was a kid! Shumba and Sasha - both kittens, a tortie and a blue. Sasha sadly didn't make it past her de-sexing operation, but Shumba lived to a very ripe old age - about 20 or 21 or so.

I love your adoption story - sometimes the cats just choose you, don't they? :D
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: avivasedai
2010-01-21 02:46 pm (UTC)

*mewp*

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I'm sorry to hear of Zoe's tumor. I hope she is rid of it and in no discomfort as soon as possible.
[User Picture]From: yagathai
2010-01-21 02:49 pm (UTC)

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The autographed copy of that photo that I picked up at the CK auction was lost to the smoke, alas.
[User Picture]From: drag0nette
2010-01-21 02:51 pm (UTC)

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aww... zoe looks and sounds adorable! i love any cat that brims with love (and doesn't bite that hand that pets her)! i really hope she pulls through!
[User Picture]From: nemesis_to_go
2010-01-21 02:57 pm (UTC)

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Poor old Zoe. I wish her all the best....but when an old cat gets a serious illness, the omens tend not to be good.

My own cat, the brilliant and redoubtable Fred, died a short time ago of a tumour - his last appearance in my LJ is here. He fought it every inch of the way, though, and even towards the end of his life he was as unexpectedly adventurous - just a few weeks before his death he surprised everyone by mysteriously vanishing and then coming back. We will not see his like again, that's for sure.

If Zoe really is on her ninth life now, I hope she has a happy time right up to the end...
[User Picture]From: iamgerg
2010-01-21 03:06 pm (UTC)

I had to put my puppy down last week.

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He like Zoe was 14 when we found out.
I gave an Evan in his memory.

[User Picture]From: cynfulbeads
2010-01-21 08:04 pm (UTC)

Re: I had to put my puppy down last week.

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Sorry to hear about your puppy but I love that you "gave an Evan" in his memory. Here's where my Evan went: http://www.torontocatrescue.ca/store/index.asp
[User Picture]From: p_sunshine
2010-01-21 03:08 pm (UTC)

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Oh no! She sounds like such a sweetheart and I'm sorry for her sad news.
[User Picture]From: arlingtonguilt
2010-01-21 03:10 pm (UTC)

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What an adorable little soul.
[User Picture]From: coraline73
2010-01-21 03:21 pm (UTC)

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Poor Zoe. I hope that the tumour turn s out to be benign, and that either way she shae is able to stay, or to go, in peace.

May I suggest http://www.greatlakesbengalrescue.com/ for whom Quiche fostered and supports.
[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2010-01-21 03:21 pm (UTC)

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I've shared my life for 9 years with her feline majesty, Neri. She of my icon. She is the light of my life and on some days the only thing that keeps me sane. I rescued her from a colleague who thought it would be a good idea to let her female cat have one litter. Neri's brothers and sisters are no longer with us and her mother, after I staged a mega-hissy-fit, was neutered.

I remember when I was still living in London, the people linked to below were doing very good work. They still are.

http://www.battersea.org.uk/
[User Picture]From: msrp
2010-01-21 03:25 pm (UTC)

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What a sweet story and what an even sweeter little fuzzy-face! This was the PURRFECT (I'm sorry....I had to!) thing to read before heading out for my dog rescue transportation today. I'm taking Shay, a sweet little pitbull, from a shelter in New York to her new foster family in New Jersey.

Here's her picture:


And of course, my favorite group is Pinups for Pitbulls. Not just for the phenomenal work they do on behalf of bully-breed dogs, but also because I have yet to meet a single person associated with their group who is less than absolutely amazing! It was also through them that I found out about my baby boy, Mojo, and life just wouldn't be the same if I didn't have him.
[User Picture]From: leeanndunton
2010-01-21 03:32 pm (UTC)

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Awww, that first shot is so great.

I'd be so lost without animals in my life.
[User Picture]From: innana88
2010-01-21 03:34 pm (UTC)

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Oh no! Zoe sounds like such a sweetie. I'm so sorry for Neil Gaiman and that he has to worry about his kitty. I certainly hope that the tumor is benign and that Zoe still has a long life ahead of her.

I'm reading this still in bed with my own newly rescued kitty, Bukowski, cuddled up on my shoulder (typing is difficult, but he never seems to mind), and snoring in my ear. He is the most hormonally challenged cat I've ever known. All he wants to do is love the world to pieces, but sometimes that desire to love frustrates him into a rather frenzied state of amorousness and he looks at me as though he's saying, "I'm so sorry. I know. I know. I just love you so much. I can't help myself."

He's so good though, that when I tell him to go lay on his pet bed instead of me, he'll pitifully mew his way over there and...well, let's just say that I'm really grateful the other cat that is sitting on the pet bed is a plush toy. :)

The shelter where I found the little devil is amazing and they do so much to try to place as many cats and dogs as possible. They have an amazing foster network and outreach program, but right now they are panicked because they are at maximum capacity. They go above and beyond for their cats and dogs to try to place even those that need special care. They sent my kitty home with antibiotics (he's got an upper-respiratory infection, hence the snoring) and had nursed him back to health when he was dropped off by his owner declawed, matted, and extremely malnourished. It seems as though the owner had put this indoor kitty outside and he didn't fare so well out there. The owner had him neutered (for all appearances he looks neutered) but the surgeon missed one that hadn't descended. As soon as he's over the cold we'll fix that (pun intended).

The Humane Animal Treatment Society website is here and they explain all the wonderful things they do with donations on that page.

That's Bukowski in the icon, by the way. Had to give him a "Beat" generation name. I'm horrible, I know.

Thank you so much for this post, Kyle. I'm so sorry to hear about Zoe, but it made my morning to read about how she inspired you to post about shelters that need help. Thanks. What a beautiful thing.



Edited at 2010-01-21 03:37 pm (UTC)
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