All in a Day’s Work

Trapping feral cats for sterilization means encountering something different each day. It’s the fun aspect of this work. Now don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean it’s one big party. On the contrary. The list of unpleasantness is long, but I’ll refrain from boring you with most of that.

you are welcomeNeedless to say, working with Marin Friends of Ferals has its moments…I’ve broken my finger, been bitten through my knuckle by a kitten barely bigger than my hand, been saturated with poison oak and nearly lost the tip of my pinky from another bite. Scrapes and bruises come with the territory from efforts to spay and neuter feral community cats, yet I love what I do. But as it turns out, love hurts.

One joy of the job includes meeting new people and traveling to places in Marin County (and beyond) where I don’t often venture. For instance, last week a family in Sebastopol contacted us wanting 4 ferals for rodent control on their 5-acre spread. Continue reading

When a Cat Loves a Woman

My cat Tippi is in love with me. And I’m not talking puppy love either. This is full-fledged kitty passion. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s not like she’s always been enamored with me. Quite the contrary. No, this love affair has taken years to blossom, which makes her recent adoration all the more perplexing.

tippi

If you know torties (tortoiseshell cats), you know they have what’s referred to as tortitude. And trust me here, that’s not an exaggeration. They’re often temperamental and unpredictable, facts I never knew back when I was mostly a dog person. Didn’t know much about felines at all, only that my cats were all different. Surprise, surprise; cats have personalities. Go figure.

I found my first feline, a calico kitten, on a ranch I jogged by one morning. She was barely alive so I scooped her up, took her to a vet, and was told she had pneumonia and probably wouldn’t make it. But Rudie was a survivor.

Rudy sleeping

Continue reading

The Joys of a Generous Cat

Previously posted in 2013

 

The gift giver

The gift giver

My cat Oliver likes to bring me presents. But not the good kind like a bracelet or See’s milk chocolate Molasses Chips. No, he prefers gifts that are alive, such as the mouse he once brought to my bedroom.

It happened while I was drifting off to sleep. I felt something squirming in my pillowcase. Can you imagine? I’m sure the mouse was hiding from Oliver and I don’t blame him one bit. But talk about nightmares…

Oliver, wouldn’t you rather eat tuna?

Continue reading

I Have a Dream

I have a dream

Let’s just say my dream isn’t the usual, like winning an obscene amount of lottery money or being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. And, sadly, it doesn’t compare to Martin Luther King’s noble human rights dream. No, mine is much less life-altering and electrifying.

This is it: I hope one day to get arrested. In fact, it’s #12 on my bucket list, right after Visit Australia and just before Bike Tour in Maine (neither of which I’ve accomplished yet).

Bucket list2

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not actually trying to land in Marin County jail for just any crime. I’m not planning to rob a bank, as I don’t own a gun. Besides, it’s not in my nature to hurt anyone, so murder is out. I won’t even burgle a home to steal its contents and here’s why: Continue reading

This Just In: I’m Not Crazy After All

Some people call me crazy but it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’ve been called much worse.

trust me3

Now don’t get me wrong; my potential craziness isn’t what you might think. That’s because I’m in cat rescue and am guardian to 4 of my own felines. So naturally I’m often referred to as the Crazy Cat Lady, like it’s a bad thing. A supervisor at Marin Humane even bought me a doormat saying the same. But she meant it in a good way. I think...

I wonder why I’m not called a crazy dog lady? I also have 4 canines and am as passionate about them as I am cats, yet nobody is ever referred to as crazy when they have multiple dogs. If you ask me, we cat ladies get a bad rap.

crazy dog lady

I recently read an article about the benefits of owning cats. But we cat guardians already knew that, didn’t we? (Another example of how NOT crazy we are.) We’re actually more sane than one would think. And smart? We cat ladies are smart cookies because, as it turns out, cats are good for us in more ways than one…

smart cookies

Smart cookies

#1. Cats are healthy for you. I’m not making this up. Actual studies have been done. Cats are furry little stress relievers. Something called oxytocin, a bonding hormone, is released when we pet cats. I, for one, can attest to this. After a particularly trying day, petting my fur ball Oliver always relaxes me. That is until Savannah, Tippi and Jack pile on and demand the same.

oliver on dog bed

Heck, I’m relaxed just looking at Oliver

#2. The sound of your cat purring calms your nerves and lowers your blood pressure. I’m very familiar with this fact and I wholeheartedly agree…unless it’s 3:00 a.m. and that purring cat is lying 3 inches from my pillowed ear, its whiskers twitching against my cheek. In that case, I’d like to change my answer, please.

tippi

Tippi has exceptionally long, annoying whiskers

#3. Cat lovers may be smarter, more open minded and more sensitive. Yeah, baby! But a 2014 study also found that they tend to be more introverted. That, however, hasn’t been my experience. Would anyone who knows me call me introverted? I think not. The cat ladies I know are, for the most part, active, outgoing, engaging individuals. Not a hermit in the bunch.

hermit cat lady

…but there are always exceptions

#4. Cat people scored higher in intelligence compared to canine’s companions. Having both dogs and cats, I suppose that means I’m both smart and dumb. So as I see it, all my bases are covered.

#5. Cats are good for your ticker. In a vascular study, researchers noticed a link between cat ownership and a decreased risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke. To that I say…

here kitty kitty

#6. Cats keep loneliness at bay. I can tell you from experience I am never lonely. How would that be possible when I constantly have 4 felines sticking to me like furry Post-it notes?

#7. Cats are less expensive than dogs. The ASPCA says owning a furry feline instead of a pup can save you $300 to $800 a year. That may be true unless your cat needs emergency medical care (on a weekend evening, none-the-less) so a visit to pet emergency is required. Hey, how else would I have spent $638 on a Sunday night?

savannah-sleeping

One costly kitty

In conclusion, and to prove my argument that cat ladies aren’t crazy, a recent study in The Journal of Psychological Medicine showed no link between cat ownership and psychosis. In fact, being a cat lady is decidedly good for your health. So there.

Yours Truly,

A healthy, stress-free, not nervous, smart, open-minded, sensitive, not lonely and definitely not crazy cat lady.

Jack, Savannah and Tippi

My 4 cozy cats