Monday, November 29, 2010

My Love Of Cats, When Did It Begin?

When did your love of cats begin? What drew you to these wonderful, magical, mystical beings?

For me it started in the summer of my 15th year. My family had moved to a new home and I was quite lonely after having left a community that I had lived in for 4 years, which meant I had to leave my first "best friends" behind.

My brother and I were in our backyard where at it's furthest point was a large wooded area. We kept hearing this noise that sounded like shrill little squeaks or peeps. Upon further investigation we discovered a tiny, tiny calico kitten....not more than a few days old (if that) abandoned under a pile of leaves.

She was precious. Her eyes were little slits and she was fairly helpless, no signs of her Mom or brothers or sisters anywhere, I imagine she could have been the runt of the litter. I gingerly carried her to our house.

My Mother HATED CATS, when I say hated cats she REALLY, REALLY HATED CATS. I was allowed to keep the kitten in the basement in a cardboard box with a hot water bottle. As soon as she heard me stirring in the morning her tiny little voice would hungrily begin to squeak, I was her world, the only "Momma" that she knew and I was so proud of my furry little baby!

  In my heart I felt her Momma had abandoned her and I was determined to care for her in such a wonderful, diligent and responsible way that I was certain my own Mother would reward me by not abandoning my hopes of being the kitten's surrogate Momma and allow me to keep her.

 The kitten  was so tiny I could hold her in one hand  while I fed her ever so gently with an eye dropper. I am trying to think now what in the world did we do about litter because I honestly don't remember and no one in my family had ever had a cat.

 I barely remember what I fed her (I am assuming milk which couldn't have been a good idea but we did it and the kitten thrived).  Caring for the kitten proved to be the perfect remedy for the sadness I had felt when we moved and I was forced to leave my friends. I knew in my heart that this little kitten would indeed fill the void and become my new best friend!!

One day I came home (I doubt the kitten was even a month old) and my mother informed me she had put an ad in the local paper advertising a "free kitten". The people who would take the cat were on their way over.

The pain I felt was unreal, but not nearly as unreal as the pain I felt when I was forced to hand the adorable, tiny,  warm milk smelling furball who I had so diligently and lovingly cared for over to her new "parents". I remember my hands shaking as I handed her to them (my mother made me hand the kitten to them because she refused to touch the cat).
Anthony and Maureen Willott's former kittens

 I abruptly left the basement and ran to my room where I was overcome with grief. I remember sobbing so desperately on my bed. My heart was broken. My plan of caring for the kitten in a most mature and responsible way and sharing many, many years with her was thwarted by my cat loathing mother. I never forgave her for that and from that moment on I became obsessed with all things cats. Cat shirts, cat drawings, cat banks, anything and everything that pertained to cats.  I vowed I would have a cat of my own one day. It took over 15 years for me to have one but indeed I did and he was the most special cat that ever lived.... aren't they all?

This post first ran in November 2009...I thought it was worth repeating....Caren

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Love Of A Cat? Guest Blogger, "Andygirl"

Caren heard my story on my blog from another reader, popped over and
immediately offered to let me tell my story to you here today. I can’t tell you how incredibly kind that is. Gratitude seems to be my dominant emotion lately.

I joke a lot that I’m a cat lady. And I guess it’s true. I’m not a cat hoarder,
but I’m a single woman with two cats whom I spoil rotten and who act like
children. But I love them to pieces. They’re family. They trust me to care for
them and to love them and I do my best.

So it’s frustrating when I feel like I can’t do that. It must be what a parent
feels like when their child is sick. I wouldn’t know. This is the closest I’ve
been to that feeling.

My cat Jeté has cancer. VAS, vaccine associated sarcoma. A tumor in the scruff
of her back. This, as it turns out, is a fairly common thing but has only
recently come to light.

You can read all about Jeté here and how I got her and  what we’ve been
through thus far. We’re just beginning her treatment and I feel like we’ve
already been through so much, she and I.

You should read all about this kind of tumor yourselves though. I’m not an
expert and I’ve learned so much in the last month, more that I ever thought I
would. Turns out, the big problem with these types of tumors is that they
develop little spider-like legs that reach around the cat’s body and making
surgery difficult. You can cut off the tumor, but not these little legs. So
radiation or chemo is necessary to save the cat.

Many cats do survive this, I’m told, but treatment is expensive.

Thus most of why I feel like I’m failing to care for my cat. I don’t have pet
insurance and my meager income cannot pay for her treatment or surgery.

Instead of radiation (the more common treatment), I’ve opted to treat with
carboplatin (a kind of chemo), which is much less expensive ($1200-$1600 vs.
$8,000-$10,000) and hopefully surgery if I can raise the funds. With carbo, I
guess it doesn’t take in 30-40% of cats, but in cats that respond to it, it’s
more effective than radiation.

Jeté had her first treatment 2 weeks ago and by last Friday it seems that her
tumor has shrunk about a centimeter, meaning she’s responding to the treatment.
This is great news! This means maybe we can shrink it small enough to cut off

The other frustrating news is that Jeté’s oncologist is closing her practice so
I have to see a new oncologist now. I’m just hoping she’s as kind as her first
doctor is and as understanding of my financial situation.

And then there’s the financial factor. There is a whole long story with the
vaccine company, but Marielle has finally agreed to kick in $500 which paid her
her biopsy and $200 of her treatment. I was able to raise enough money to pay
for her first treatment (about $400 a pop) and two oncologist visits (about $95
a pop). But she potentially has three more treatments plus visits so I’m looking
at $1200+. And if we want to operate, it’s around $3,000.

I can’t believe how many people have opened their pockets and their hearts to
help thus far. I am so incredibly humbled by the generosity of perfect
strangers. It’s incredible how kind people truly are!

If you’d like to help, I have a donation box up on my blog. Or, you can purchase
something from my Etsy shop. All proceeds go to fund Jeté’s treatment and
surgery. If you don’t see something you like, email awesomecrazylady at gmail
dot com and I may or may not be able to make you a custom order. I generally
work with buttons or found items.

Thank you so much for reading about our little story. Jeté is my sweet girl and
all I want to do is to make sure she’s happy and healthy and knows she’s loved.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! (Video)

Happy, Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving!

WE are thankful for YOU!

Nose taps, kitty kisses and head bumps

and of course much love!

Caren and Cody

May Your Thanksgiving Fulfill YOUR Wildest Dreams!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Where's The Stuffing?

Turkey?  I don't see any stuffing....
Doesn't smell like Turkey!!

There HAS to be some cornbread stuffing in this thing!!!

Awww Geeze! She gets me EVERY time! The only STUFFING in THIS turkey is.....ME!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cat Chat Reviews The Book:Hannukatz Saves Hannukah (Well, at least for the Moskowitz Family) by Terry Abrahamson

It's that time of year again. Actually it has been "that time of year" since about August....when holiday decorations started to adorn retailer's shelves...and by "holidays" I am not talking about Halloween or Thanksgiving....I am talking about the December holidays of Hannukah and Christmas.

Community pools had yet to be drained for Labor Day, Halloween candy hadn't even been handed out, Thanksgiving menus weren't even a glimmer in our eye and yet "when what did my wondering eyes did appear? " holiday decorations! The retail blitz had begun. It is the official kick-off of  "Gimme Time!!"

The first of the holidays that will appear this December is Hannukah (the first night of Hannukah 2010 is December 1st, got your shopping done yet? No? Better get crackin')

One thing I strongly urge you to add to your "eight crazy nights" is "Hannukatz Saves Hannukah, (Well, at least for the Moskowitz Family)" the zany, off-beat and hilarious book which was written and hysterically illustrated by  the equally zany, off-beat, hilarious (and brilliant in an avant garde kinda way) Terry Abrahamson. This book addresses the problem of commercialism and greed in our kids  in a wry, witty and fun way.

Meet The Moskowitz's:

Mom "Sylvia" "Syl" to all who know her well who "sold obsolete Roll-O-Files where people used to store phone numbers before cell phones and computers" ('nuff said)

Dad "Gilbert" "Gil" to all of us "who dreamed of creating a new Kosher food called Chish (1/2 chicken and 1/2 fish) which would enable him to make a fortune.

The Kids "Emily" and "Josh" who "you always knew what holiday was coming when Josh and Emily put on their "I Hate Hannukah Shirts" which they wore because their parents couldn't afford the really, really "cool" gifts that they really wanted. I think we all know a few "Emily's" and "Josh's" (evil snicker)

"Josh" illustrations by Terry Abrahamson
In my opinion they both needed a good "potch on their tuchas" that is until the arrival of the main character...

Hannukatz! (a cat wearing sunglasses and as he calls it a "Meowmulkah", that possesses the wisdom of the ages and is one cool cat!) Read how he teaches Emily and Josh (in his own inimitable style), that "Hannukah is not the Jewish Christmas" and that the true meaning of Hannukah is not evidenced by how expensive and hip the gifts they  receive are.

You will also learn in this wonderfully wacky book:
  • the story of Hannukah as only Hannukatz can tell it
  • how the miracle of the "eternal light" inspired the Beatles song "Eight Days A Wick" 'er "Week"
  • and....if Emily and Josh will let go of their greed and if they will REALLY learn the true meaning of Hannuka.
  So, after you have enjoyed your latkes and  after the candles from your Menorah have burned out (which nowadays due to the cheap candles that are made it takes about 30 seconds), and the kiddies are tucked into bed...enjoy a laugh from Hannukatz!

From our house to yours as Hannukatz says "Happy Hannukah to all and to all, a good light. Well...eight lights, actually"

As Terry Abrahamson says "Rock on, kids. Thanks for reading."

To purchase "Hannukatz Saves Hannukah" visit or write to ISBN 978-0-578-06664-6

Terry Abrahamson Author/Illustrator of Hannukatz Saves Hannukah
About Terry Abrahamson:
he won a Grammy writing with Muddy Waters, wrote the Boston Celtics fight song recorded by George Thorogood, wrote for Oprah Winfrey, has a book of his Blues photography "In The Belly Of The Blues", in the permanent collection of the library of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, created Chicago's adult musical comedy review KAMA SUTRA...and many, many other accomplishments too numerous to mention!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our Hearts Are Full Of Sadness

Dear Inigo
Darling Inigo suffered from the same condition as my beloved Bobo. We are so sorry to learn of his passing.

My Angel Bobo will welcome you to the Rainbow Bridge with open paws.

Our hearts are breaking.

With all of our love and deepest sympathy.

Your friends  furever,

Caren, Cody and Angel Bobo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oakland Pet Adoption Center establishes adoption satellites to help more pets find homes; make adoptions more convenient

Oakland Pet Adoption Center has established five Pet Adoption Outreach Centers to help find homes for more homeless pets in Oakland County, Michigan. The center is also seeking more partners to expand this outreach program with additional adoption sites.

The center is placing pets in pre-qualified veterinary hospitals and select pet supplies retailers in the metro area in order to make it more convenient to potential pet adopters. The program currently focuses exclusively on cats and kittens because there are so many that need homes.

Current locations in Oakland and Wayne counties are:

  • Allen Animal Hospital in Livonia
  •   248-476-0570

“While our new expanded hours and Saturdays are bringing more people into our main shelter, we wanted to expand our reach,” said Oakland Pet Adoption Center Administrative Supervisor Joanie Toole. “Through our Pet Adoption Outreach Centers we are hoping to get our pets in front of more animal lovers closer to home. Our goal, of course, is to continue to find loving homes for more homeless pets in Oakland County.”

Anyone interested in adopting a cat or kitten from a Pet Adoption Outreach Center should contact the locations directly for information on hours and availability of cats. Each center will have access to a database of the cats at all Pet Adoption Outreach Centers to help adopters who may be looking for a particular breed or type of cat.

Pet Adoption Outreach Centers must meet certain criteria, be pre-approved by Oakland Pet Adoption Center, and agree to care for the cats until a permanent home can be found.  Potential adopters must also meet certain criteria, provide a loving home and pay an adoption fee which varies at each center. Cats must be spayed or neutered either prior to adoption or following their adoption in the case of young kittens.

“To date, our Pet Adoption Outreach Centers have already placed hundreds of cats and kittens,” Toole said.  “By continuing to expand this program we hope to make it possible for more animal lovers to see all the beautiful cats we have for adoption while finding loving home for more of them.”

Oakland Pet Adoption Center is looking for more veterinary hospitals to participate in the program.  Those interested should contact Center volunteer and program coordinator Linda Wasche at or 248-253-0300.
Oakland Pet Adoption Center is at 1700 Brown Road in Auburn Hills. Its mission is to “provide a temporary haven for animals until we can find them permanent, loving homes."  Center hours are:
10:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday and Friday.
10:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays. 
The Center also runs a series of low-cost spay/neuter clinics to help reduce pet overpopulation. For more information go to  or call 248-391-4100.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Musings Or In Cat-Speak "Meowsings"

I have been feeling out of sorts for the past couple of months. Our family has experienced a lot of sadness, the death of my father-in-law almost two weeks ago who was greatly loved and who had endured years of both physical/mental challenges.
He will be deeply and profoundly missed by all who knew/loved him (and that was TONS of people!)

On a positive note, we have a new and gorgeous niece who was born the day before my father-in-law passed. She is stunning, sweet smelling and pink and we have all fallen madly in love with her!

Also, I decided to join my fat-boy Cody and embark on yet another weight loss mission. I joined Weight Watchers on October 2nd (watch out Jennifer Hudson!!) and am happy with the weight I have lost so far...I discovered on a shopping trip to Kohl's yesterday that I am now a 1X (for those of us who are weight challenged that is a HUGE deal, especially since I had been rapidly approaching the Land of 3X's which for my 5ft 3" stature, even being big-boned was inexcusable!) and soon I hope to be able to no longer have to buy anything that is a "Plus Size" (as they say on "Seinfeld", "not that there is anything wrong with that!")

I am an emotional, mercurial, and sensitive person who feels things I often wish I wouldn't, sees things I wish I didn't and often takes these things to heart.

Lately my "timing" seems to be "off". "Best laid plans" as they say aren't connecting. People I need to reach on a variety of issues, I am unable to connect with.

 I am a "control freak" and when I experience things like this it greatly affects my "balance"...I often wish I could land on all fours when falling from a building (just like a cat) but often I don't.

"Libra Golden Scales" photo from Wikipedia
 Side note:I am a Libra whose astrological symbol is the Scales of Justice. I hate injustice of any kind and my scales have to be in "balance". When my scales are off-balance I become frozen in procrastination and to be purrfectly frank I experience "brain farts!"

It is at times like these that I find great comfort in cats and quotes. I have always been a word/quote freak (I have a book of "10,000 Quips and Quotes"), I have collected and found comfort in quotes since I was a teen (coincidentally when my love of cats began). So today I bring to you some of my favorite musings--"A product of contemplation; a thought. "an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas).

In keeping with the theme of this blog, they are all cat related. If any of you are in a "funk" or feeling out of sorts, I hope they offer you comfort as well!

"In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the cat."
- Warren Eckstein

"If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much."
- Mark Twain

"Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
- Mark Twain Notebook, 1894

"You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals."
- George Mikes from "How to be decadent

"There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats."
- Albert Schweitzer

"Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them."
- Jim Davis

"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person."
- Dan Greenberg

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."
- Leonardo da Vinci

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
- English Proverb

"Beware of people who dislike cats."
- Irish Proverb

"With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?"
- Fernand Mery

"A meow massages the heart."
- Stuart McMillan

"Time spent with cats is never wasted."
- Unknown

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
- Unknown

Photo by @supernatural808 on Twitter
" No heaven will not ever be Heaven be; Unless my cats are there to welcome me."
- Unknown

" How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven."
- Robert A. Heinlein

"People who hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life."
- Faith Resnick

"One reason we admire cats is for their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing, or pretend they do."
- Barbara Webster

"As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind."
- Cleveland Amory

There....I feel somewhat better now, (and I hope you do too!) two favorite things...the comfort/peace that living with a cat(s) provide, and the contemplation that my love of quotes offers me.

What are some of your favorite cat quotes?

What do YOU do for yourself when you are "off-balance" or out of sorts?