Halloween and the Escape Artist

Halloween can be a day with more tricks than treats if you share your home with a four-legged escape artist. Picture it: Halloween 2004. Moose, Lally, and I were living in New Jersey with my grandmother. My grandmother turned out the lights before I even got home from work, signaling trick-or-treaters that we were out of candy. Because we still had candy and I was bursting with Halloween cheer, I turned the lights back on. As soon as I opened the door for the very first trick-or-treater, Moose snuck out and took off. I dropped my candy bowl by the … Continue reading

Diary of a Cat Care B&B: Pictures and Report Cards

Today was a frustertaining day at the cats-only boarding facility. Frustertaining = entertaining and frustrating at the same time. Why? Because I was working on report cards. We try to write up a little report card for every guest who stays with us. It’s got checklists for how the cat ate, how the cat seemed emotionally, and what health issues we may have noticed. There’s space for comments… and we put a picture on the front. (School pictures and report card day, all in one!) Once again, I found myself appreciating the folks who do pet photography professionally. Some of … Continue reading

An Unexpected Lesson about Halloween Costumes

On Halloween, I decided to dress up my dogs Moose and Lally for our afternoon walk. Lally had on a green tee shirt with a cartoon character on it. Moose wore a white shirt with pastel lettering that says “charmer”. (Both shirts are mine, as you might guess.) I was pretty pleased with myself as we headed out for walkies. But at the first bush, disaster struck. Moose lifted his leg to piddle… and peed all over his shirt. I was so excited to have the dogs dressed up that I didn’t think about the length. The hem of the … Continue reading

A Cat Convert Success Story

At the beginning of this year I shared a stray dog story that had a happy ending after my friends Christian and Christy ended up keeping the little pup that showed up on their lawn one morning. Today I’m happy to share a similar story about a cat. Mr. Rocky Finds a Home Earlier this month I wrote about unfaithful pets and a cat named Rocky a.k.a. Butters a.k.a. Mr. Kitty a.k.a. Pain in the A– who had adopted my friend Kim. Kim’s dog Rusty wasn’t entirely happy about this pesky cat being persistent about getting her and her mom’s … Continue reading

Shelter Discrimination

A blog I wrote about adopting black cats (and dogs) has gotten some attention from shelters. I’ve had several people contact me, looking for permission to adapt the list for their black shelter residents. You might be surprised to learn that black dogs and cats tend to linger the longest in shelters — longer than older animals, abused animals, or even injured animals. The problem is common enough (especially in large black dogs) that it has a name: black dog syndrome. What makes animals with black coats harder to adopt out? Perhaps the dark color of their coat makes them … Continue reading

Conjuring Up Cats (Especially Black Ones): An Interview with Author Bev Walton Porter

Turns out my next interview subject, Bev Walton Porter and I have a mutual friend in common: Families.com member Jade Walker. I don’t know how Ms. Porter knows Jade, but I met her here at Families.com. That was a fun thing to discover! But it wasn’t the only fun thing I discovered after interviewing Ms. Porter. For instance, if she’s ever heard the superstition about black cats, she doesn’t heed it. This is one cat lover who looks forward to a black cat crossing her path. Courtney Mroch: What kind of things do you write about? (Genre, subject matter, themes, … Continue reading

Six Reasons Why You’ll Never Regret Adopting a Dog

Photo by Bethan Hazell I happen to love my pound hound with my entire heart and soul. I know others, such as Aimee who rescued her Lally and Moose from shelters, also feel the same. Since October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, I thought I’d honor it by listing some reasons why adopting a dog will be the best decision you ever make. Reason #1: You’re Saving a Life Some shelters are no-kill, meaning the animals will stay there until the right home is found for them. But most shelters only have limited resources –space, food, and money. That forces them … Continue reading

Fence Fighting

What is fence fighting? Picture this: two dogs in a backyard, standing at the fence. They see something on the other side — maybe a squirrel, or a cat, or another dog. They’re desperate to see/sniff/chase/interact with that animal. The two dogs bark and bark and bark and finally turn and bark at each other — sometimes resulting in a fight. Lally and Moose were fence fighting just this morning. They were sitting at the sliding glass door to the patio when a black cat came by. (Just my luck, right?) We had ourselves a big, loud barkathon (at 8 … Continue reading

Adopt-a-Shelter Cat Month Starts Today: How to Participate

June is known in some circles as Adopt-a-Shelter Cat Month, which was started by American Humane. I suspected June was probably selected because right about now shelters are overflowing with kittens. (I based this assumption on my personal experiences with Tabby –first finding her and then finding out she was pregnant.) I was right. Out of the millions of cats who enter shelters each year, only about one in four are adopted into loving homes. In fact, most of them –more than 70 percent of them– must be euthanized. ~Statement from American Humane Yikes! That statistic breaks my heart. (I … Continue reading

Black Cats and Halloween

It’s all about the urban myth. Popular culture is dripping with them, especially around Halloween. Which is why animal shelters around the country are taking extra precautions. No black cat will cross your path this Halloween, if a northern Idaho animal shelter can help it. Like many shelters around the country, the Kootenai Humane Society in Coeur d’Alene is prohibiting black cat adoptions from now until November 2nd. The proactive measure is done to protect the animals that could be mistreated in Halloween pranks—or worse sacrificed. According to the shelter’s executive director, the risk that a cat may be harmed … Continue reading