Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Says Virginia Moore, "Faithful CAHS supporter Leon has been bringing gifts to the animals and the staff of the shelter for years. Volunteer Coordinator Kim Henry decided to reward Leon with a special gift commemorating his devotion to CAHS."
No doubt the good deeds are reward enough for Leon, but it's always nice to have a bit of high fashion on hand for those special occasions.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Says Virginia: Where else could you get a big kiss from a pit bull? At the 12th Annual Walk for the Animals and Bark in the Park. The event drew hundreds of dogs and people under bright blue skies and early fall foliage. A great time was had by all.
Donations can still be made to the walk, visit the online page :
Monday, August 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Virginia Moore tells me:
"Foxy came to CAHS a couple of weeks ago after her human mom passed away. She is a 6-year old Pomeranian, and she was very frightened to be in the shelter environment. We took her into the admin office with us to help give her a quiet environment and she has settled in nicely. Her favorite perch is Kathy's desk by the window, so she can watch the world go by. Foxy is coming out of her shell a little every day, and she even wags her tail at us now."
I have to make due with my ragged and moth-eaten miniature poodle for photo shoots like this. Here's your chance to upgrade to something more stylish.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I don't know much about Clifford. Virginia tells me that Sandy is taking him home to bottle feed; perhaps tease him into feeding himself. Since his past is a mystery, I'll offer an educated guess.
Clifford is the lone surviving heir to the throne of a small country inhabited only by cats. He doesn't know this, in the way of all orphaned royalty. Only after growing into adulthood and having many adventures will he one day discover his heritage.
Of course, the revelation will be anticlimatic, and redundant, since cats consider themselves royalty to begin with.
Here's a snippet from a letter sent by Pisa's -- I mean, Liam's -- new owner:
Just wanted you to know that Liam (aka Billy, aka Pisa) is doing very well as he adjusts to his new home. Our two other cats (three years old each) in all their cat curiosity are wondering what this little cat is doing in their home. Seamus (orange male tabby) was caught licking his face yesterday and has in a few short days taken to running back and forth with his new brother with reckless abandon. Laci (female tortie) is slowly approaching while she gives out warning hisses for Liam to not get too close. He listens...sometimes.
Slow movement and hissing is nothing to be alarmed about. It's the usual reaction of any sister who has two brothers. Just ask Virginia.
And because every blog should offer the occasional beefcake:
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This video reminds me of a Rube Goldberg device with lots of activity and little result. The journey is everything.
Virginia Moore sent this along to announce that kittens in all denominations are available for adoption; proof that sometimes the destination is everything.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Moxie, who recently inspired visitors, readers, and at least one cartoonist, passed on a few days ago. Virginia tells me they'll be planting a Memorial Garden for Moxie, and donations of perennials and bags of soil are welcome. I wish I knew more about flowers. Something bold and orange would be nice.
I didn't have a chance to meet Moxie. I know she was in a lot of pain toward the end. But there's a calm at the center of all cats, and I'm sure she was able to draw on that peace in her final weeks, and to share it with those who stopped to notice.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Actually, few of my cartoons are inspired by my life. This one's the exception. Adrift after a 15 year relationship, I shaved off my beard, hoping to appear younger, more festive to potential dates.
The cat and I came to the same conclusion.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Scroll down a few posts and you'll see the plaintive face of Pisa, a much-beleaguered kitten. Thanks to the good care of CAHS and the kitten's good fortune, he's living large in the way of all kittens; seemingly in several places at once, a quantum experiment in a Newtonian universe. I think he's making up for lost time.
The music is used by permission of the multi-talented Tom Dean.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Pisa isn't the only new cat at CAHS. Soon to arrive, rested and strong from a stay with Lisa the Foster Mom, kittens full of vigor and the desire to climb mountains. The kitten in the photo is staring off into the distance, imagining distant peaks and scalable couches.
A new kitten arrived at CAHS this past week. Hungry and sore, he came in the company of other starved kittens. He was penalized even further by an injury that left his head at a tilt. He's doing better now -- feeding, up and about -- but CAHS Executive DirectorVirginia Moore suspects the damage will leave its mark. He'll move through the world at a perpetual slant, as if wary of what he'll find around the bend (a reasonable stance, considering his life so far.) Because of his lean, and a determination to remain standing, he's been named Pisa.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Moxie is basking in the warmth of a recent visit from Kennett Middle School students, who left her nicely ruffled, with fine words to keep her company.
Moxie is still hoping to make your acquaintance. Most days you'll find her camped on the refrigerator, keeping an eye on the world's smallest Merry-go-round.
She'd like to point out that the card still has plenty of room for your good wishes. And like most of us, she can always use a good shoulder to lean on. Or climb.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Moxie the soft drink and I have a troubled past. Picture a large outdoor Moxie brand thermometer with a dark-eyed pharmacist painted at the top. He's pointing at you. He has the look of a mad scientist. Now picture a rusty hole where the pharmacist's nose should be, the result of nailing the thermometer to a barn. And lastly imagine this thermometer brought inside and hung from a beam in the attic room where you sleep: the ghostly white and corrupt face of the Moxie Guy, glowing like swamp gas in the dark, bound in a white lab coat -- or is it a shroud? -- pointing straight into your shaking heart, demanding that you DRINK MOXIE.
I'll never forget that bloodless, noseless face, commanding me to drink the foulest tonic in history.
I mention this because I want you to understand that I don't like Moxie. When I hear the name, I shudder.
Virginia Moore sent along a story about another Moxie.
Despite the calm you see on Moxie's face, she has an aggressive cancer, and her time is limited. Virginia invites you all to come by and share in her spirit while you can.
Says Virginia, "She likes to sit peacefully on top of the little refrigerator in the room, eyes closed, with what I swear looks like a smile. When you say her name she opens her eyes and responds with a happy meow, standing up to greet you. When you pet her she says thank you with her whole body, rolling on her back and writhing in joy that someone is paying attention to her.
"We don't know Moxie's history, only that she was in bad shape when she came to us last fall, with mouth injuries and malnutrition. Someone brought her in after they found her abandoned in a cat carrier in a driveway. It has taken her a long time to trust, and to feel joy, but now she is making up for lost time."
I might as well alert those who need to know: when my time comes, I doubt I'll be as agreeable as Moxie.
Stop by and join the Meowish for Moxie Club. Sign her card. Lean in close and let her climb onto your shoulder, in the manner of monks who prefer mountain tops. If you listen carefully, between the purrs, maybe she'll whisper her hard-won secret for living in the moment: enjoying what you have when you have it. And remembering to say thanks.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Cars make lively pets, especially when they're racing in the living room. (safety tip: crack a window.) Here's a chance to help with the care and feeding of a wayward Subaru -- gas, wax, the Hula dancer that shimmies on the dash -- while giving the car a forever home.
Added bonus: Dogs are poor drivers. They chase things. Like other cars. As you'll note in the picture, there are DOGS BEHIND THE WHEEL. An accident waiting to happen. The Impreza deserves a loving home, safe from the sort of dog that would bring a cat along for the ride. I'm guessing it's a hostage situation.
Here are the details.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This is why I did so well in school, and why I'm always getting lost when I read road signs.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Here are the cities.*
*Boston makes the list because cats are allowed to vote and drive tiny cars; though most prefer not to.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Though I'm a cartoonist who works at home alone, I do have the company of Belle and Willy, cat and poodle. Neither can hold a pen or file what I draw, but every workplace has its slackers.
It's been two weeks for these latest additions to the CAHS census. Virginia says they're doing fine. I take this to mean that their brains are developing, and soon they'll puzzle out how to surmount the plastic wall that contains them.
It's probably too soon to read character in a kitten's face. But the one with his face scrunched between two cats has the look of the last clown out of the clown car. The dark kitten on the right is going for the Norma Desmond look from Sunset Boulevard, aching for that close up.
If your home is missing something cat-sized, be sure to visit the CAHS shelter.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If I'd put the same keyboard up for bid at the Paddy O'Paws Auction, it would have sold for a thousand. It was that kind of auction. Largess flowed like good coffee, perking the crowd into a jovial frenzy.
The auction raised $46,000.
If you look up antithesis in a well-illustrated dictionary, you'll see a sad gray image of my yard sale, alongside this photo:
You might recognize Angus in the photo from an earlier post:
where I wrote this:
Angus was left for dead in the cold. Despite being wrapped between two heating pads, he didn't register a temperature for over an hour. When his jaws were carefully pried open, we found a chunk of frozen steak, thus inspiring his name. He's skin and bones with matted fur. But he purrs like mad when we treat him, and he clearly has the spirit of his namesake.
He's clearly rallied, and then some. The woman in the picture is CAHS Executive Director Virginia Moore, looking delightfully erudite in her glasses, telling Angus' story. I'm guessing my yard sale would have fared better if she'd put it together.
One of the highlights was the sort of thing you like to see in movies, or very special episodes of TV shows. From the press release:
"During the live auction, the Jackson resident [Lyman Pope, Jr.] stunned the crowd by pledging $5,000 to the shelter and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Executive Director Virginia Moore notes that “this incredibly generous pledge, in turn, encouraged the crowd to pledge support for our Dozer/Dancer Fund, created to assist pets with special medical needs. We were completely blown away by the support and generosity of the entire audience.”On second thought, I'd like to have Virginia and Mr. Pope run my yard sales.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone who spread the word, and turned word to deed.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Under the care of foster mom, Lisa Webster, eight more cats come blind and mewling into the light. The kittens in this photo are only a few hours old, and their existence is more perilous than usual. Once their eyes are open, they'll discover that a mother cat is temporary shelter.
The kittens will soon be living at the CAHS shelter. They'll be fed, entertained, and celebrated online and in newspaper ads. Kittens Need A Home. And because adoption doesn't run on a schedule, the notices will soon read Cats Need A Home.
If you can give a brand-new, fresh-from-the-wrapper kitten a home -- please do. But if you can't, do what you can to fund CAHS, the enduring caretakers. And consider the wisdom of spaying if you share a home with a pet. Cancel its subscription to PARENT magazine. Don't put ideas in its head. Few dogs and cats are ready for the responsibility of finding homes for their offspring.*
*This isn't bad parenting. Human parents are disinclined to find homes for their kids. But unlike cats or dogs, most human kids can eventually pay rent.
*though I've been reporting it as March 16. My apologies, if you arranged to take the day off.
** Don't stare into the light for too long, especially if you're driving. Pull over, park a lawn chair, and put on your sun glasses. Give the drivers something else to look at.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I need to write a little bit about fashion and the lure of good clothing. Since my knowledge of fashion would fit inside a Bazooka Joe comic, I'll pretend I'm writing about books.
I love books. I'll gladly travel any distance if I'm promised a book store at the far end. I especially love second-hand stores where each shelf is a cross-section of the history of reading. Each rack a potential treasure once lost and now found.
I know there are those who track clothing with the same passion. A sweater, a blouse, a purse, each as irresistible as a good novel, and just as comforting, exciting, or provocative. The right book or outfit is always a good fit.
Retails will be opening soon in Norcross Circle. You're invited to stop by Thursday night, March 19, for a kick-off party with light appetizers, desserts and wine. If you'd like to donate gently-used fashions, for both men and women, please do.
All proceeds benefit CAHS, and their continuing mission of giving shelter to nearly a thousand homeless animals every year.
If you've ever dressed your dog or cat in an outfit, it's only fair that you let them dress you, courtesy of Retails.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
He also recommends this site where you can commission needle and felt recreations of your pets, in varying sizes. I especially like this one, as seen through the wrong end of a telescope.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Here's a picture of a shelter cat, Hemingway, from the very photogenic Caturday blog, with the caption, Hemingway (because of the toes, of course.)
My first thought: did Hemingway have more than the usual number, perhaps compensating for a rumored war injury? I knew he loved cats, and I imagined the writer amassing a cat army especially selected for their large paws, the better to knock down his critics. Or maybe the well-endowed cats celebrated his love of boxing. Or maybe Hemingway wore wide-open sandals to accommodate his own multiplicity of digits, and he liked the idea of cats created in his own bewhiskered image.
I googled and learned that Hemingway had the usual number of toes, but his cats didn't. A ship's captain gave a cat with poly dactyl gifts to the writer. And since Hemingway lived on a temperate island that encouraged roaming, some inbreeding followed. Cats with paws like boxing gloves became abundant. Today the Hemingway House and Museum has sixty or so cats in residence, and perhaps half of them are poly dactyl, believed to be descendants of the original Hemingway cat.
I think. This is a lot of research for a Sunday morning.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
There's a reason why being alone is often seen as a torment, not a blessing. Whatever the species, a spark is kindled when you witness a greeting that doesn't involve a boot in the face. This nuzzling might have lasted a second, but it captures the essential dream of sentient life. Not to be alone.
Stop by the shelter sometime and share in the dream. We're short on ponies, but cats are abundant.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
He was brought to the shelter covered in wounds and filth. Staff couldn't touch him. He hissed and growled. Trust is likely the first thing to go when you live on the street.
His cage was placed in a small ward with the door open, an opportunity for cultivating exercise and people skills. Last week CAHS discovered that Atlas wasn't as prickly as he seemed. They found Ollie and Atlas curled up in his cage, fast asleep. Since then Atlas has discarded his fierce facade and now loves to be petted and fussed over. He watches Ollie with care.Were they bunk mates in the Dumpster? Is Atlas Ollie's deadbeat dad, now making amends? (Ollie has markedly improved since befriending Atlas.) Either way they're both sweet and loving creatures. They deserve more than harsh nights and a trash bin for shelter.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Being a diabetic, I feel a kinship with Isis the cat, a fellow diabetic. She's been at the shelter since November 2005. And though Isis settled her bill -- food and medicine and lodging, perhaps a touch of catnip for those wintry nights -- in the way of all cats by contributing to the shelter's ambiance, she also enjoyed a more bankable currency, thanks to CAHS contributions.
A few weeks ago Isis packed her bags and moved to Rhode Island, where she's living with a Registered Nurse; no doubt satisfying every cat's dream of having a personal nurse forever on call.
Ann, the cat adoption center staffer with Isis in her arms, will stay behind, looking out for the next Isis who comes along.
Socks the cat passed away this past Friday at the age of 19. Socks was top dog, so to speak, until the Clintons acquired Buddy. This article at Obit reveals how Socks brought change to the White House:
"Presidents, like leaders throughout history, have always had pets. In the old days, keeping animals in luxurious splendor — think of Mary, Queen of Scots and her pack of velvet-clad pugs — was a way for potentates to further elevate themselves above the people. In our modern, egalitarian democracy, by contrast, domestic animals let powerful politicians play everyman. Franklin Roosevelt may have been a wealthy patrician presiding over a depression-buffeted country, but when the president cuddled his beloved Fala, FDR seemed as if he could be your neighbor.
"For the purposes of political theater, though, either version of political-pet symbolism is easier with a dog than a cat: Dogs, after all, will sit still for both royal costuming and LBJ-style ear-swinging. Cats, as Socks’ photographic suitors learned, won’t sit for much of anything. Thus while a few presidents have kept cats around, according to the Williamsburg, Va., Presidential Pets Museum, they’d always played second-fiddle to the first family’s other animals. Until Socks came along."
Friday, February 20, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I adopted my cat a few days before, or possibly after, Christmas. My memory isn't evergreen. Needles brown and fall off. But I do remember that snow was on the ground and the holiday was close at hand. I named her Belle, after Scrooge's erstwhile fiance. He comes to regret the loss, and yearns for a second chance. Like Scrooge, like most of us, I'm always looking for a second chance. So was Belle.*
Valentine's Day also brings second chances (Mary was mine), along with first loves. It's another good holiday-- before or after the day -- to welcome a rescued animal into your home. You might forget the date, but the greeting card-and-candy season is a permanent and pleasant association, a bit of gift wrapping for your heart. That's something you never forget.
*My first cat was named Chance. Depending on how you look at words, Belle was my second Chance.
Monday, February 9, 2009
If you don't recognize NH cartoonist Stephanie Piro's name*, you probably recognize her work. She contributes the Saturday cartoon to the syndicated Six Chix feature. And if you visit her site -- a riot of color and personal fascinations -- you'll see that in another life, she was likely a factory during the Industrial Revolution. She's the incarnation of industrious. She has t-shirts, books, prints, strips, panels, and possibly a cotton gin.
She's also the epitome of an animal lover. They roam through her work, finding homes in eye-catching designs. The above t-shirt will be up for auction on March 16.
And like most humor, it's funny because it's true.
*Cartoonists are almost always unnoticed. Should one of us require Witness Protection, we could keep our identities.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
JoAnn Fastoff explains how she chose her cat, "G."
"About five years ago, I accompanied a friend to the Animal Welfare League at 6224 S. Wabash Avenue because my friend was adamant about adopting a dog. Unfortunately, she ended up not finding one she liked.The next time you visit CAHS, wear baggy clothing. Let the cat choose you.
I, on the other hand, had wandered through the cat section of the place when I was suddenly grabbed by the sleeve by a cat that called my name from his cage. I honestly tried to ignore him but he was insistent in getting my attention. He got it. For reasons I will never be able to explain this cat somehow ended up driving me home (that’s what I told my husband) and sharing my family’s living space for the next five years."
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
So says Virginia Moore, CAHS Executive Director. Frosty's ears have that stylish bent thanks to frostbite. The results are fabulous, but the technique is not recommended.
I'll write up three ideas, get your feedback, and draw a black-and-white single-panel cartoon suitable for framing. You can print it on a t-shirt, have it tattooed, or post it on your blog. You can read more about the process here.
You can see my work at Nobrow Cartoons. My cartoons have appeared in Woman's World, Saturday Evening Post, and Reader's Digest. And possibly, soon, your bathroom wall.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Look into his eyes. You're feeling sleepy. Very sleepy. You're reaching for your wallet. Or someone's wallet. Must buy ticket. And cluck like a chicken. Save that for later. Buy ticket first. Only $30. Buy eight for $200. Brunch and an auction. March 16. Many fine items. Bid on them all. Make sure you win the wooden bear and mail it to Mark Heath. When Paddy snaps his fingers, you will awaken, remembering only to attend the 6th Annual Paddy O'Paws Brunch and Auction.
You may also remember that dogs don't have fingers, so there will be no snapping. Forget this. Good time to start clucking.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Virginia tells me that Angus is enjoying his new spa lifestyle. "Angus is doing well. He's eating a ton and loves to be cuddled." It's like she's describing a certain cartoonist. Stop by the shelter and see for yourself.
And it turns out that Solo, the cat with the engine-singed whiskers, is a girl, not a boy. My apologies to Solo, and anyone she may be dating.