June 24, 2014

Frank Loses Body Part - Gets Forever Home

If you're wondering why I look so woebegone, it's because she's done it again. I'm referring to my mom. What's she done, you ask? I'll get to that in a minute. First, let me preface my revelation with a little hissstory.

I call the lady who rescued me from a blizzard 13 years ago, "Mom." She isn't my biological mother, of course. But since I don't remember my bio-mom, and my rescuer doesn't have human children, we came to an agreement way back on that cold day in January. She would be my mom and take care of me forever, and in return, I'd help her write books, and keep her company when she travels, and devote my 9 Lives to being by her side, through thick and thin.

Maybe I should have looked at the fine print in our contract.

Maybe I should have hired a lawyer to draw up a contract! (Is it too late?)

I didn't realize at the time, way back on that cold January day, that the lady I let rescue me was a Cat Magnet. I don't think Webster has come up yet with a definition, but my definition of Cat Magnet means, my mom can walk outside and a stray cat will be there -- right there! -- waiting for her to feed him, and name him, and take him to the doctor for...you know...doctoring. And then...she usually keeps him. *Sigh!* She's pretty much run out of peoples who don't already have a bunch of cats to ask if they want to adopt her newest stray.

Lately, my mom stinks like a tomcat. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. She's adopted countless cats over the past 13 years, and while she hasn't kept them all; some she's actually found homes for, the others who have stayed have sunk their claws into her heart. Which breaks mine. Because there is only so much of her to go around. And when a new cat shows up, all needy and wonky from Life on the Road, that's less time she will have for me.

There are 7 of us living inside: Me, Opie, Peaches and her son, Jack, and her granddaughter Gidget, and Chauncie Marie and Adorapurr aka Dori.

And there are 3 panfur cats living in our fenced yard: Jesse is Peaches' son, Jack's brother and Gidget's dad. Nikolas is Dori's daddy. Feral Charlie has been around for 3 years, but he knows what a live trap is, and so far has eluded entrapment.

That's 10, not counting the raccoons Mom cares for, who are currently making more raccoons.

Every single one of us cats has had a prior life on the streets. We've known hunger. We've been scared. We've had injuries, and sickness. None of us came to Mom 100% clean. She rescued all of us, and so many more, out of her own pocket, and out of her own time.

Time better spent on me.

I'm just saying.

I'm sure you might have read about her trying to capture Joshua, the sick orange kitty who found his way to our yard, but like Charlie, had confinement issues. He had a runny nose, crusty eyes, couldn't breathe! So of course he couldn't smell food inside the trap, nor could he smell food on a clean plate right under his nose. It took him watching Mom use a broom to battle back another tomcat who wanted to beat the stuffing out of Josh, for Josh to realize maybe she wasn't his enemy. After the broom incident, Josh let her approach to feed him. She talked baby talk to him, and eventually he came to her for petting. She wanted to get him to the doctor, he needed it desperately. He was so thin, dehydrated!

But it wasn't to be. He got scared, and then returned to the woods behind our house, avoiding Mom except for after dark when he would come to the porch and she would feed him and love him. And try to capture him. She got a lot of scratches from him being scared. Finally, she got a drug from the doctor and was able to pick him up and cage him. But it wasn't to be. Joshua had leukemia. He is now OTRB, may he rest in peace. But at least he knew someone cared at the very end. Joshua would have joined my Mom's cat club, if he had lived. There's no doubt about that, cuz I overheard her telling him he'd have a home when he returned from the doctor.

Remember that tomcat she had to sweep back to keep him from beating the stuffing out of Josh?

That's Frank. He showed up about the same time as Josh, in early spring, acting tough, showing off his man cat pride with tail held high. Jesse and Nikolas never really bonded, but now, because of their mutual dislike of Frank, they're pretty chummy.

Mom and Dad like Frank. A lot. He's a 13-1/2 pound tabby, all muscle, with a tiny bite out of his one ear. Dad sez he's a dog-cat. He comes when he's called. He supervises Dad doing yard work. He wants to come inside the house to hang out with my mom. But... thank cat! Frank won't be allowed inside the house. Unlike that old teevee show from the 70s, 7 is Enough!

Frank has claimed the garage for his turf. He's been set up with a bed, a kitchenette, a fan and toys. Mom cracks open the door so he can come and go. She's also encouraged him to hang out in the raccoon yard because its been so hot here and she doesn't want him to get heat stroke.

If you're a guy cat, it's a firm rule with the Cat Magnet that you have to sacrifice your nads in order to be adopted. I saw this file on Mom's desk this morning, so it's official.
Since Frank is an outside cat, and I'm...you know, King of my World, it isn't likely that we will hang out together like we're friends. But because my parents will stink like Frank from time to time, I will be aware of him, lurking on the fringe of my world...where he belongs.

Some of you might know that I've recently taken up pawtography. So, I decided to rise above my deepest desire to rip him to shreds, and asked Frank to sit for his Official Adoption Portrait. My wonderpurr talent has made him look better than he really is.

June 5, 2014

Special Feature Intermew with Wendy Archer: a Fossicking Trekker

Yay! After a whole month of dogging (sorry Thomas) Wendy Archer to wrap up her Special Feature Intermew... It is with great pleasure to tell you that I was able to pounce on her, and get this wonderpurr intermew finished.

It was well worth the wait.

For those of you who are clueless about who Wendy Archer is... She is also known as Thomas @PuppyNumber7 's 'Nan.' She lives in Australia, has an embarrassing crush on William Shatner, and has this fascination with rocks that Thomas tells me runs deep throughout her family history.

Please welcome my favorite fossicking trekker, Wendy Archer!

A-paws! A-paws!

Herman: You are one of the graphic designers for the Anipal Wedding Planners, along with Dana Moody @DanaPixie and my mom, @KimberleyKoz. You recently completed work on Marie and Ryker’s wedding. Please talk about what it takes to put an Anipal wedding together.

Wendy: Yes, it is an awesome honour to be part of the AWP. We have a great team working behind the scenes on every aspect of the wedding. And like a “real” wedding, twitter weddings take a lot of planning and work. Picture-making is the part that takes the longest to complete. Finding the perfect outfits can take hours of searching on the web, keeping in mind that not only do the clothes have to be the right colour and style, but also the models/bodies must be in the correct stance for the occasion. We prefer short-haired models too, so their hair doesn’t mess up the collar or shoulders of the clothes.

To give you an idea of the time involved, I recently inserted 29 pals into a vehicle. It took me 4 hours just to collect a pic of the pal, cut them out and insert them into the vehicle. There was no searching for clothing or backgrounds; the only search was in each pals’ picture album to find a nice picture of them, and that process took the longest to complete. But the whole job was a very simple request and the work was straightforward, and still it took 4 hours.

Anyway, once we have found and cut out the models/clothing, we can cut and fit the anipal head to it. When the entire wedding party including attendants, greeters, ushers and the officiant have been outfitted, we can put them into the backgrounds. Finding the right chapel and reception backgrounds can be a challenge too. We usually have to cut and paste to get them just right, layering the background, wedding party and guests as we build the pictures. This is very time consuming and requires imagination and organisation to make sure you create all the pictures a modern bride would want to show off in her wedding album.

While all that picture-making is going on, other parts of the team are creating the invitations, organising the food and music and writing the timeline. All of these aspects take time to complete properly – from designing an imaginative invitation, to liaising with the bride about her taste in music and entrée, to making sure everyone looks stunning.

Once all the pictures are made, we upload them to the web and insert them into the timeline, ready for the Big Day. I must say here too that while the work can be difficult and take up a whole lot of your time, it is extremely satisfying and we all get a kick out of it and for the most part enjoy it – we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t. It’s a labour of love.

How is your routine life impacted when you work on an Anipal wedding?

I haven’t had a lot of time over the past year or so but I do especially love making the wedding pictures and writing the timelines. All the creativity behind the scenes does take many hours spent at the computer though. When I’m working on a wedding, sometimes my household has to tick around me, especially if a deadline is looming. Fortunately for the dogs my human family are happy to take up the slack. And fortunately for us humans, my husband is the main cook so no matter how busy I am, we don’t starve.

The creator of Star Trek, Gene Rodenberry, referred to fans as trekkies. Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock, prefers fans to be known as "trekkers". Do you fit into either category?

I describe myself as a “trekker” because the term sounds more grown-up and serious to me than “trekkies.” Trekkers have often been the subject of fun and ridicule (thinking of Noel Shempsky). But most of us are pretty normal-ish. Of course that’s just my opinion, and I wouldn’t like to be quoted as going against our Leader (Gene Rodenberry) so perhaps I should just say “no comment.”

Do you own a copy of The Star Trek Encyclopaedia, considered The Star Trek “bible” by fully fledged Trek fans?

I must ‘fess up that I do not have a copy of the Encyclopaedia in my Star Trek collection. I think some of my attraction to Star Trek is simply lust for William Shatner, as I haven’t actually got a lot of fan paraphernalia. To prove that I’m not a complete trekker fraud though, I do have some required reading including The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and the Klingon Dictionary. But one of my favourite books is Star Trek: A History in Pictures (because I can oogle the pictures of James T Kirk).

Do you have a Trek themed username? Like … Klingonscienceofficer77777?

I haven’t thought of a Trek twitter name but surely Thomas would have to be the male version of Seven? @Seven_Of_Eight (For those who aren’t aware, Thomas was the seventh born in a litter of 8 pups.) Either that or @MajorTom.

Have you ever peppered your conversations with Trek-talk key phrases like..."Beam me up Scotty!" "Live long and prosper." "That is illogical."

I’m not quite that far gone (yet) but I can say “Activate the transport beam” in Klingon. I can’t wait for the day I can actually use it and be understood.

Please put the below characters in order of your preference: James T. Kirk, T. J. Hooker, Denny Crane, or the Priceline Negotiator.

As they are all William Shatner, they are equally scrumptious. *licks lips* But if I could choose one to take home with me, it would have to be Captain Kirk. Read my answer to the following question for the reasons why.

Do you have a copy of The Transformed Man?

No, I don’t own a copy and I don’t think I particularly want to. I think that’s because it’s all about lust with me – the attraction is Bill’s body, not his voice. It’s purely physical. *laughs* Is that shocking? Is this intermew supposed to be G-rated? *covers Thomas’ ears*

Did you read Up Till Now: The Autobiography?

I’m sorry to say that I haven’t, but your question has prompted me to include it in my list of books to read this year. Bill has had a varied career and he has led an interesting life. I should think his autobiography would be well worth the read, especially if there are lots of pictures of him.

What is your opinion of William Shatner’s performance of the Elton John song "Rocket Man" during the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards?

The first time I heard this, I thought what rubbish it was and wondered why he would make such a fool of himself. I was embarrassed for him. And the more I listened to it, the worse it sounded – but after a while, I realised that its awfulness was its attraction. Bill took “Rocket Man” and he reworked it, made it unmistakably his own. I now believe that his rendition of is one of his most powerful performances and is a masterpiece. But that doesn’t mean I want to hear it again. Ever.

In regard to fossicking… Is it the thrill of the hunt, like a clearance sale at Macy’s?

There is as much excitement is in the anticipation of what I might find as there is in what I do find. It’s great to think that you are fossicking in a likely spot and can’t be too sure what you might find – the tiniest speck of a specimen or the find of the century.

When you’re sitting in a stream waiting for gems and gold to float by…do you think deep thoughts? Maybe about Captain James T. Kirk? Hmmm?

Boy, do I wish gems and gold would float by! But nope, no daydreaming or deep thoughts when I’m fossicking. I’m totally focussed on what I’m doing except for the occasional thought about how hot (Australia) or how cold (New Zealand) it is.

Did your Dad and Grandpa find anything amazing while fossicking?

My Dad used to say that he found my Mum while he was fossicking. He was beachcombing when they met. For me, I was lucky enough to find an old style diamond ring when I was a kid, buried in a sand dune, which was a real thrill. Dad sold it for me and I got $100, an even bigger thrill for me! Nowadays I can say that the best find for me so far has been a piece of rock that I found here in Australia. What makes it so amazing to me is that the crystals inside the rock have formed into the rough shape of Australia. How cool is that?!

In the first part of your May 5th Intermew, your quote regarding Chloe Rhiannon Archer touched me deeply. You said, “I consider myself lucky to have had a small taste of a different life - not a better life, but a different life.” I’ve read that we are all born for a reason in life. Even those who come in for a brief flicker before they return to heaven, have a purpose. Perhaps they are meant to inspire change in the person affected by their birth. Or inspire them for a greater purpose. Or teach them something. Clearly by naming Thomas’ daughter Chloe, your angel is never far from your thoughts.

Only a tremendous upheaval could have sent me running away from the coast and onto country acreage. Had we not lost Chloe, we would not have been living here at the right time when Sammy turned up, pregnant with Thomas and the other pups. Chloe’s loss was the push we needed to head inland. And I firmly believe that when the time came, Chloe led Sammy up our gravel road, past our neighbours’ gates to us.

Chloe definitely had purpose in her short life, and I spend every day grateful for the lessons she taught me and the wonderful changes in my life that she brought about. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the person I am or have the life I have now.

As for Tom’s littlest one, she arrived at a time when she was so desperately needed. Another life with a purpose. And when her mother Lorraine asked if she could name her Chloe, I was proud and tremendously touched. Little Chloe is truly heaven-sent. And like Tom says, we are lucky dogs.

Herman: Wendy, thank you from my bottom of my heart for agreeing to do this intermew, and fitting it into your busy schedule. Pals, please take a moment to thank Thomas's Nan by leaving a comment. As always I appreciate your support, and wish you all a sincerely Wonderpurr day!


June 4, 2014

The Power of A #Hug by @Adorapurr

Today is
International Hug
Your Cat Day.

Speaking to those involved in animal rescue: you must remember how powerful that first touch can be to an abandoned cat or dog who has gone a long time...perhaps forever...without contact, without touch.

My mom has rescued numerous strays throughout her life, many of them feral. Feral cats are her specialty. She says there is no greater high on this earth than when, after weeks or even months, of working to establish trust with a feral, they allow her to touch them for the first time. After that first touch, it's often like the flood gates are thrown wide and progress with taming and possible homing rapidly follows.

Touch isn't necessarily human contact either. Touch can come from another animal, like Jack and Opie who enjoy a bromance kind of friendship. In 2008 Opie was caught as a 3 month old stray in our yard, and in 2009 Jack was born under a neighbor's deck to Peaches. Neither cat had experienced human touch when my mom took them in, but Opie never possessed the feral streak, while Jack did...and still does. Jack avoids all attempts at contact from my pawrents, but he gets his need for touch fulfilled from Opie, and from his mom, Peaches who also lives with us.

Touch for ferals can also come from a clean blanket, or a cushy bed. In Florida, Mom rescued a feral tuxedo named Amy. To give Amy comfort while they worked on her trust issues, mom provided her with a blanket on top of a lawn chair. To this day, the memory of Amy enjoying her first blanket, her first real comfort, brings tears to my mom's eyes.

I was born to Nicolas and Annie. My dad was tame from the start, but while tame, Annie had trust issues. She may have been born to feral parents, or abused in a past life. She gave birth to two panfur boys and two tabby girls. Kepurr was scared when we were rescued,  but he tamed with little effort and was adopted. His twin, Kopea, was feral, and while he was adopted by Kepurr's family, he could not be tamed, and eventually escaped their house. I was tame from the start, a tribute to my wonderpurr dad, but my twin Patsy, was so feral, there was no chance of her getting adopted. She had to be released back into the yard with Annie and Nicolas. But! Patsy underwent a huge transformation after her release. She regrouped, learned to trust, and became a pawsome, adoptable cat. She learned to trust my human mom, and eventually Patsy permitted being sat in my mom's lap like a baby doll, and having her claws clipped. Her claws clipped! Without screaming and twisting and yowling, like I do.

But this isn't about my issues. This is about touch. This is about Hugs!

You don't need a calender date to tell you to hug your cat...or your dog, or ferret or bunny... You just have to stop and take a break in the middle of your chaotic life, put down your pawphone, put down the teevee remote... and give your fur kid attention.

Play with them. Talk to them. Hug them.

They will thank you for it with life-long devotion. You can quote me.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment or maybe share this post before you rush off to hug your fur kid. And do give them a smoochie from me, Dori. Have a Wonderpurr day!

Don't Mess Wif Me!