Friday, February 6, 2009

This Just In: Cat Looks Like Flying Nun, Early Sally Fields Sitcom

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.

Ollie Doing Well in Antifreeze Detox

Ollie, rescued from a Dumpster several days ago, is showing great improvement, now that he's gone into Detox and cut down on his antifreeze. It's amazing what a few days of sobriety and 100% less poison can do for you. Stop by and congratulate him.

Nobrow Cartoons

Here's something for your cat or dog that you won't find at Petco. A personalized cartoon. Here's how it works: you'll send me pictures of your pet, along with a description of its character, quirks, misadventures. Is your pet clumsy, inclined to eat socks, prone to wheeze adorably when you have company? Did it ever take an unexpected trip after curling up in your luggage and falling asleep?

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

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.

Scratching Post Built from Scratch

Snazzy. (via Life Hacker.)

How To Walk Your Cat

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Updates: Angus is Doing Better, and Solo Changes Gender

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.

Wish List: Cat Toys

From the CAHS wish list: cat toys. Having read the blood-curdling article below, I can report that the best cat toys are furry -- cats are very tactile; they like to claw and beat the stuffing out of their playthings. Especially if the stuffing is catnip. If the toy whirs or zips along, save it for an office toy. Cats like to stalk. A furry toy occasionally tugged on a string is more their speed.

Also popular, according to sf/fantasy writer Cherie Priest, who often features her cat on her blog, are penlights. Not the pen itself, but the spot of light you move about on the wall or floor.
Today I had lunch with Psynde, who brought Spain the Cat a new toy: A laser pointer with rotating wheel of pictures. She can chase a butterfly, a star, a smiley face, or a mousie. At the moment, the butterfly is the big winner. I wore her out playing with this thing for over an hour; now she’s sacked out on top of her cat tree, snoring like a goose with a harmonica.

How to Know if You're a Cat Lover

I need to add some dog posts for balance. I apologize to the dogs reading this blog. But I'm a cat lover first, and these things happen when I'm writing early in the morning and my brain is thinking on automatic.

I have a miniature poodle named Willy. I love Willy. But how do I know I'm a cat lover first and foremost? Because I can read the following excerpt and not cough up my breakfast in horror:
Cat play is not just for fun -- at least not in your furry friend's mind. "When cats play, they're practicing their prey behavior," says Marrow. And if you've ever watched a cat actually hunt a mouse, you know that it doesn't make a quick kill. "They torture the thing, toss it up in the air, force it to move -- they like that aspect." Cats do the same thing with their toys. That is why they can spend hours batting a ball of tinfoil, which they can essentially make behave like a rabbit."

Isn't that cute?

A Life is a Life

From the Chicago Sun-Times this morning:

Chicago firefighter John Gricus and fire Lt. Mike Videka rushed into the home at 47th and Laflin to rescue the woman, while firefighter Chuck Sanow grabbed the cat, its fur singed by the fire and soaking wet from the water.

"A life is a life, no matter whether it's a person or an animal," Sanow said.
Something to remember the next time your cat wakes you up before the alarm clock, and murder flares briefly in your heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

With Enough Funding, This is What CAHS Could Become

Meow Mix Sing-a-Long

If you sing along, remember that this is a rough translation from Felinish. Matching words to the melody may knock your tongue out of alignment.

Animal Communication Proved

Mark Anderson is a cartoonist friend of mine. Check out his snazzy site. I haven't counted, but I think he has a gazillion cat and dog cartoons.

Another Good Argument for Mass Transit

I just came across this 2007 Daily Mail story:
Bus drivers have nicknamed a white cat Macavity after it has started using the No 331 several mornings a week.

The feline, which has a purple collar, gets onto the busy Walsall to Wolverhampton bus at the same stop most mornings - he then jumps off at the next stop 400m down the road, near a fish and chip shop.

The cat, nicknamed Macavity, has one blue eye and one green eye

The cat was nicknamed Macavity after the mystery cat in T.S Elliot's poem. He gets on the bus in front of a row of 1950s semi-detached houses and jumps off at a row of shops down the road which include a fish and chip shop.
Driver Bill Khunkhun, 49, who first saw the cat jumping from the bus in January, said: "It is really odd, the first time I saw the cat jumping off the bus with a group of passengers. I hadn't seen it get on which was a bit confusing.

"The next day I pulled up on Churchill Road to let a couple of passengers on. As soon as I opened the doors the cat ran towards the bus, jumped on and ran under one of the seats, I don't think any of the passengers noticed.

"Because I had seen it jump off the day before I carried on driving and sure enough when I stopped just down the road he jumped off - I don't know why he would catch the bus but he seems to like it. I told some of the other drivers on this route and they have seen him too."

Since January, when the cat first caught the bus he has done it two or three times a week and always gets on and off at the same stops.

Passenger, Paul Brennan, 19, who catches the 331 to work, said: "I first noticed the cat a few weeks ago. At first I thought it had been accompanied by its owner but after the first stop it became quite clear he was on his own.

"He sat at the front of the bus, waited patiently for the next stop and then got off. It was was quite strange at first but now it just seems normal. I suppose he is the perfect passenger really - he sits quietly, minds his own business and then gets off."

(via The Constant American)

Paper Towels

The next time you're food shopping, why not toss a package of paper towels into the cart? CAHS can always use paper towels. When you're caring for 140 animals or so, you're bound to have a few spills and puddles.

In Case Barack Obama Missed This the First Time Around

Dear President Elect Barack Obama,

Hi! My name is Erika and I’m a twelve year old volunteer at the Conway Area Humane Society, a non-profit, no kill shelter in Conway New Hampshire. First, I just wanted to take the time to congratulate you on becoming the next President of the United States!

The reason I’m writing to you today is to ask for a favor. We heard that you would like to adopt a puppy, and we were hoping that you would consider adopting from our shelter. Organizations like the HSUS are not in danger of closing, but every day the Conway Area Humane Society faces the reality that we are getting closer to closing our doors. If you adopted a puppy from us we might be able to stay open forever. You might be able to open people’s eyes to the plight of our shelter.

Our shelter nearly faced a tragedy last spring. We almost had to close, we were days away! We almost had to stop caring for all these loving animals that have no other families or homes other than us. We’ve run many successful fundraising campaigns, but let’s face it the economy today is contributing to a downturn in donations and we are struggling to keep our doors open. As early as yesterday we rescued 18 puppies (from a southern kill shelter) that we have to care for, on top of the 140+ animals we already were caring for. We have been helping several surrounding communities, when we really need help ourselves!

We held our own cat primary this past January 9th with three of our shelter cats running for top cat on the summit of Mount Washington. The observatory cat retired, and Sarah, Wilson and Marty all ran campaigns. This story was picked up by several news stations, and traveled around the world. Marty won the cat primary and his picture was on the front page of the NH Union Leader that day, along with yours! How fitting would it be that you got your puppy in New Hampshire, at our shelter? The story can’t end here. It just can’t end here…we won’t let it. Please help us please adopt your puppy from us. We really need the help!

There are many volunteers that give up their time to help us provide loving care for these wonderful animals. We help over 1000 animals a year find their forever homes, with families like yours to love and care for them. Please help us to continue to do this. You can visit us at, or in person!

Erika Szekely
CAHS Volunteer

Dog Vs. Dinosaur

I had a dream
last night that involved a T-Rex wrestling with several bears and a dog. Guess which animal would be welcome at CAHS?

The dog's strategy, by the way, was to mark the dinosaur as if it were a tree. I don't know if it worked. A large dump truck came by, hit the brakes, dropped the tailgate, and I was out of there.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday's Paws For a Laugh

Cats Out of Dickens

I don't recall if cats featured in Dickens that often -- except for Tale of Two Kitties, of course -- but these four know a few things about perils and rescues. And like Oliver Twist, they would love a good home.

A woman found Ollie and several other kittens living in a Dumpter in Berlin, NH. After feeding them, she returned to find the food cans full of antifreeze. Ollie was alone and dying. She brought him to CAHS, we called Fryeburg Vet, and Ollie survived the night. He's now recovering at the shelter, perhaps pondering his large vet bill.

Solo got out of the cold by crawling into a car engine. When the car was started, his whiskers were burned off. He has the run of the shelter during the day, showing off his new set of whiskers while exercising.

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.

Frosty was found in a snowbank in subzero temps with frostbitten ears. She's a very loving cat, and approves of our lack of snowbanks inside the shelter.