A Sheltered Life – stories as told to Maggie Haylock-Capon, by Liza, resident greeter at the Loyalist Humane Society. (Photographs by Alan R. Capon)
(If you are unable to adopt a cat or kitten, there are many other important ways to help the LHS. Donations of Javex and other household cleaning products, garbage bags, grocery bags, litter, cat food and kitten food are welcome. The Loyalist Humane Society is located on County Road 4, (Talbot Street), near the intersection of Tripp Road.)
It’s Liza, bringing you my weekly report from The Laundry Room, which is a little chaotic lately with so many rug rats arriving almost daily. There is a matter of some importance that I have decided to bring to your attention, since it has been troubling me for some time. Wait a moment, until I dump Mickey D out of my soap box, so that I can climb on it to talk to you about The Old and the Beautiful.
Today, our shelter is home to a large number of senior cats. Some, like Rocky and Madame R. are too elderly for adoption. They enjoy a safe and happy place with us and will remain here for the rest of their days. However, there are others, such as 10-year-old newcomers Felix and Fifi, who are healthy, sweet-natured cats who could bring many years of happiness to new owners. We also have the mother-daughter team of Bess and Tess, who were fostered for a number of years and recently came back into care with us. Sadly, when families visit our shelter to choose a cat, often our wonderful seniors are overlooked. Even senior citizens ask for kittens or a cat just one or two years of age. People just don’t know what they are missing.
With the advances that have been made, today, in nutrition and health care, cats are living longer than ever before. A ten-year-old cat has a number of good years left and could be the ideal companion for a senior citizen. After all, what senior citizen needs a kitten climbing the drapes in their new condo or streaking through the living room and flying over the sofa? Older people tend to sit down a lot and what could be better company for them than a mature cat skilled at lap snuggling? Please don’t reject the idea of an age-appropriate cat when you decide to adopt. Consider sharing your golden years with one of our golden oldies.
There is something else I should mention, too. If you already have a cat or cats could you possibly find it in your heart to make room for one more? Our senior residents are quiet and well-behaved. You could give them the chance to live out their lives in a home atmosphere with lots of special attention. If cats have brought love and years of enjoyment to your life, give back by offering a happy retirement to one of our seniors.
Visit our shelter and ask about our Seniors for Seniors program. Ask to meet some of our older residents and learn about their special qualities. If adoption is not an option, consider sponsorship.
Join me for a tour of our Old Folks Home and I’ll introduce you to some of our senior cats. If you happen to fall in love with a rug rat, instead, I’ll understand, but I hope you will give some of our older residents a second chance.
NEWS FLASH FROM FRANCO
It’s your roving reporter, Franco, here and have I got news for you. I am NOT one of those senior cats that Liza has mentioned this week. I may not be in the first flush of youth, but any cat who can capture eight garter snakes in just a few days time is not in his dotage. She is no spring chicken herself and from the amount of time she spends snoozing in her basket these days, she is not as spry as she used to be. I’d like to see her catch a snake. If she saw one she would go running for Captain Amerika or Mrs. Moffatt.
A senior cat with lots of presence, Autumn has resided at our shelter for a number of years. He would very much like a forever home, but confesses that if he is never chosen he will not be too disappointed. He enjoys his life at the shelter and has made many good friends. He especially likes spending time on the patio, in the summer months.
A beautiful tortoiseshell cat with a sweet nature, Victoria has a secret – every day she crosses her paws that someone will choose her as their new best friend. She knows that people are slower to notice the cats with conservatively coloured coats, but is hopeful that her gentle disposition will win her bonus points. If you are considering a new best friend, be sure to see Victoria. She’d love to audition for you.
Martha Mewart is our very own interior decorator. It’s plain to see that as she regards this cord on the patio she’s thinking “I could do something clever with that”. She’s fond of transforming everyday things into delights for the senses. Let her work miracles at your house.
Top cat, Captain Amerika, is an adventurer who dreams of saving the shelter from a pack of howling wolves or rescuing Liza from The Laundry Room after her basket has taken fire from an overheated dryer. Our hero is always looking for a damsel in distress and could rescue you should the need arise. If you are looking for your very own Indianna Jones, just give him a call.
Ti-Cat is described by Mrs. Moffatt as “a lovely boy”. He is about two years of age and has a delightful personality when awake. He would be a decided asset to any sofa so be sure to ask for him when you visit our shelter.
A striking black and white miss, Tyson’s wife once belonged to a cult. Her husband was a polygamist with many wives. When the group disbanded, Tyson arrived at the shelter with his favourite spouse in tow. However, she is growing somewhat tired of being referred to only as his wife. She wants an identity of her own and says she would prefer to be known as Tia. She has also suggested that Tyson be called Tia’s Husband, as it is his turn to play second fiddle.
Our resident superstar (named Babs because she looks like Barbra Streisand) enjoys reminiscing about her many stage triumphs and her brief relationship with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She frequently reminds her roommates of her colourful past and says she cannot understand why she is living in a homeless shelter. She insists it is all a terrible mistake.
Leftie is a delightful senior who earned his name because of his habit of batting passers-by with his left paw, to gain attention. He spends his days dreaming of a forever home and wondering why he was never chosen. It’s not too late to make his dream come true.
Felix and Fifi
Meet Felix (or could it be Fifi), who is half of this dynamic duo (the other half was too shy to pose for a photo). This brother and sister are ten years old, declawed, and in urgent need of a loving, indoor home where they can remain together. This pair would be ideal for a senior citizen or a retired couple who do not want to cope with the energy of a kitten or young cat. Felix and Fifi have many good years left and should not be overlooked because of their age. Invite them to grow old along with you and share your golden years together.
Peppermint Patty is now five weeks old and promises to be a real beauty. The only offspring of Candice Cane, a pole dancer who came to our shelter after a disastrous affair with a Stage Door Johnny, she says she will learn from her mother’s mistakes. She will never perform in a “gentlecats’ club” and intends to pursue a career in lap sitting.
The Brothers Three
Three little kittens in search of their mittens (which hopefully will not be needed for several months to come), Snitch, Tattles, and Fibber McGee make their way through the jungle. They are also looking for forever homes and are now available for interviews.
Welcome to the World
These adorable rug rats are just a few of the kittens soon to be available for adoption at our shelter. When they lost their mother, Mrs. Moffatt became their foster parent and took charge of bottle feedings. If you are thinking of inviting a kitten to join your household this spring, don’t overlook these outstanding candidates for the position.
He’s the cat that’s got the cream and no one deserves it more. Rocky, our resident warrior, is convalescing following a nasty cold virus. Mrs. Moffatt is pampering him with daily bowls of 35 percent cream to help him maintain his weight. This old warrior has led an adventurous life and now enjoys a position of privilege at our shelter. His sponsor, Gilly, a 12-year-old girl from Kitchener, is planning to visit him this spring and he is very much looking forward to meeting her.
Our handsome young tenor has been short-listed and may soon be leaving for his forever home. He has been with us for several weeks now and is growing more beautiful every day. We have our fingers crossed that he will soon be packing his bags to start a new life with a family of his own.
A handsome young gentleman, Brando never misses a chance to catch some rays on the patio. The arrival of barbecue season always excites him. If you are planning a weekend party, he would very much appreciate an invitation, especially if grilled salmon is on the menu.
This young calico miss is a little skittish, but would thrive with plenty of one-on-one attention in a loving home. Forgive her for looking a little startled, but this is her first audition for a forever home and she was experiencing a case of nerves. Aware that first impressions are all-important, she wanted to look her best.
A young gentleman of very discerning tastes, Dudley came to the shelter from the Huff Estates winery, where he was found panhandling. Mrs. Moffatt describes him as “super entertaining”. He loves to play with toys, especially stuffed animals, and would very much like to attend wine tastings if given the opportunity. He would be the purrfect cat for a wine connoisseur.
Mr. Sandman has come up in the world. Rescued with a group of cats living in a pig pen, he now has his own “hammock” fashioned from one of the window curtains at the shelter. If you are in search of a novel window treatment for your living room, just ask for this innovative interior decorator.
From the Desk of Liza
All of us here are very grateful to pianist Michael Goodwin, his wife, soprano, Josie Farrar and cellist Linda Minty for the benefit concert they gave this month at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, in support of the LHS. Spring Serenade was a wonderful success and recently Josie presented a cheque for $500. to Mrs. Moffatt. How lucky we are to have such amazing friends in the community.
If you are spring cleaning and have some items that you no longer need, please remember that once again we will be having our summer yard sale. We have storage available so can accept donations for it, now. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated.
-Until next week,
* * *
County Pet Appreciation Days fundraiser places third in Canada
It’s Liza, editor of the Loyalist Bugle, reporting from The Laundry Room, the happening place at the Loyalist Humane Society. Excitement is still running high here regarding the amazing donation we will receive from Picton’s Pet Valu store owned by John and Tricia Daley. During their recent Appreciation Days, they raised more than $7,300, plus donations for our shelter, through the sale of paper “paws”, a silent auction, and a cupcake extravaganza. There were also many donations of product.
The Picton store ranked third in Canada, in monies raised, at the close of this nation-wide fundraiser for charitable causes – a remarkable achievement since many of the other Pet Valu stores are located in large, urban centres. We owe a big vote of thanks to Tricia and her staff for all of their efforts on our behalf. Thanks also to the county merchants who so generously donated prizes for the silent auction and to the chefs who created the colourful cupcakes sold at the store.
The LHS is fortunate in having many good friends. Recently, a benefit concert titled Spring Serenade, was held for us at Picton’s Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Pianist Michael Goodwin (who is also church organist), his wife, soprano Josie Farrar and cellist Linda Minty of Belleville gave wonderful performances. As a result of their generosity $500. was raised for the LHS. This was certainly music to our ears! Michael, Josie, and Linda, please take a bow – 250 cats and kittens want to give you a standing ovation.
The rug rats are here! New kittens are arriving daily at the LHS. If you are planning to adopt, be sure to visit us for a preview of this season’s outstanding fur collection. Of course, we also have many mature cats who are seeking forever homes.
Spring is in the air and roving reporter Franco is out and about on his rounds. He is now bragging that he has captured his eighth garter snake. Personally, I am convinced that he has succeeded in catching the same geriatric snake eight times. I could observe that our Franco is too slow to catch a cold, except for the fact that he once did.
Our shelter will soon be bursting at the seams with new arrivals, so it would be wonderful, indeed, if some of our residents could find their forever homes. Follow me and I will show you our Spring 2013 collection of adoptables.
Two For the Road
These winsome black kittens were photographed just as they were leaving to audition at Robyn’s Nest, in Picton. They are two of the many adorable youngsters available for adoption at the LHS.
Say hello to Peppermint Patty, who is now four weeks old. She was born at our shelter and will soon be ready for her forever home. Her mother is Candice Cain, a young pole dancer who plans to go back to school as soon as Patty is adopted.
Minx is a beautiful young tiger cat who recently gave birth to seven kittens. The other moms at our shelter, who have smaller litters, are calling her an over-achiever. A girl interrupted, Minx is hoping to find a home of her own, as soon as she has raised her brood.
The Magnificent Seven
Meet the Minx family. In just a few weeks, these delightful kittens will be making earnest applications for forever homes. If you would like to see their resumes, please visit our shelter. Walk-in interviews on the spot.
David is our resident politician. Described as being “quite vocal” he is never shy about sharing his opinions. We hold high hopes that he will enjoy a successful career for although not yet a year old he is already a charismatic presence at our shelter. Our David is a straight shooter and assures us that there is nothing crooked about him, except for his tail (which does have a crook at the end).
This wistful looking miss is Tiny Tortie, who is living proof that good things come in small packages. This apartment-size cat is eagerly awaiting her forever home and could be the perfect companion for a senior citizen or a retired couple.
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, and this includes the wicker basket in the sunbeam on the windowsill. A beautiful tiger miss, she has it all – she’s mature, sweet-natured, and a polydachtyl, which is a 50-cent word for “has extra toes”.
Meet Jeff, who likes nothing more than to stop for a drink with the gang, after a strenuous day of napping and sunbathing. A handsome young man in a black leisure suit he is seeking a forever home with a mini-bar.
Say hello to Mary Kay. Although she did not arrive at our shelter in a pink Cadillac, she is still a very special puss. This lovely young miss had humble beginnings (she was found living in a pig pen) but has risen above them. As you can see, she has had a make-over and is now ready for her forever home.
If you are a senior citizen who would like to enjoy the companionship of a cat, Pebbles was meant for you. A mature individual herself, she will never climb the drapes or race through the living room. However, she does occasionally drink from the tap. If you are seeking the perfect companion for your golden years, be sure to ask for Pebbles.
Here at the shelter, Rocky is known as “the cat that’s got the cream”. A fortunate feline, indeed, he has a sponsor and regularly receives 35 percent, lactose-free cream to help him maintain his weight. This distinguished older gentleman is eagerly marking off the days on his calendar as he waits for a visit from his sponsor, a 12-year-old girl named Gilly, who lives in Kitchener.
A very affectionate black cat who oozes charm, Running Bear would very much like a home of his own. A nasty viral infection left him with a nose that drips on occasion (hence his name) but he has improved considerably in recent times. Don’t discount him because of this minor problem.
He’s young, handsome, and available! Caruso was in pitiful condition when he arrived at our shelter but with time and a decent haircut he has transitioned into fine looking gentleman, who loves to practise his scales. If your house seems a little too quiet, why not adopt Caruso for some interesting conversation?
Come into my tent and I will tell your fortune says the mysterious Madame R. This beautiful calico cat is 16 years old and has found her forever home with us. She spends her days reclining in her tent and for a Temptation treat will read the cards for you.
Mittens has a sugar daddy. This pretty, young, Calico miss snuggles up with Rocky in exchange for a few laps of his 35-percent cream. She is fond of boasting that he has bought her a very soft fur coat.
Three Priceless Furs
This trio is just a sample of the wonderful kittens waiting for adoption at the LHS this spring. Come early and reserve your new bff. Soon these youngsters will be weaned and ready for their forever home.
From the Desk of Liza:
Just a reminder that we still have a number of cats at our shelter who would very much like to have sponsors. If you would like to know more about our sponsorship program please call or stop by to find out how you can make one of our family part of your family. To date, we have 19 sponsors who are enthusiastic supporters of this program. Your chosen cat will write to you regularly with progress reports. You may sponsor a cat for a period of time of your choosing – from one month to a year or longer.
Also, don’t forget our Seniors for Seniors program. If you are a senior citizen, learn how you can adopt a senior cat from our shelter, at no charge. Don’t spend your golden years alone.
-Until next week,
Spring brings hopes of finding forever homes
It’s Liza, editor-in-chief of the Loyalist Bugle, reporting live from The Laundry Room, command central for our shelter. The big buzz here this week is the fantastic success of Picton’s Pet Valu Appreciation Days, a big fundraiser for the LHS. Owners Tricia and John Daly succeeded in raising even more money than last year, through the sale of paper paws and cupcakes, a silent auction and other initiatives. The final total is not yet available, so stay tuned for an updated report, next week. We are so grateful to the community for the generous support it always gives to this popular event and to Tricia and John for being such generous supporters of our shelter.
Many of our readers may wonder about the life of a typical shelter cat. Franco and I had a staff meeting this week and decided to feature the journey of Peppermint Paddy, the tiger kitten who was born here about two weeks ago. He is the only offspring of Candice Cain, the 10-month old pole dancer who came to us in a delicate condition. Each week we will feature an update on Paddy so that you can follow his progress.
Our new sponsorship program is proving to be highly successful. More and more of our elderly residents are finding families eager to make their lives happier. Recently, a blind cat with impaired motor skills came into care and would very much appreciate sponsorship. Please contact our shelter if you would be interested in adopting “Bluffy” as your foster cat. For just $20 a month you could make a real difference in her life. Since she cannot see, she will need Crawford’s assistance in writing to you, but you can be certain that she will dictate a letter to him, to be sent to her sponsor.
Don’t forget to mark Friday, May 10 on your calendar for Spring Serenade – A Gentle Awakening of the Senses, the upcoming benefit concert for the LHS, which will be presented by Michael Goodwin, Josie Farrar, and Linda Minty at Picton’s Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m., with tickets available at the door. This event promises to be the cat’s meow.
Soon, our shelter will be overrun with rug rats, the inevitable consequence of devil-may-care spring flings. If you are thinking of adopting a kitten please remember that shortly we will have a fine selection available in a wide assortment of colours. Of course, if you prefer to adopt a more mature companion who no longer climbs drapes or travels at high speeds from room to room, you may wish to select a fur from our “youthful” or “mature” departments. Please follow me for a preview of our 2013 spring line.
McSquinty and Mornin’
Young cats eager to find their forever homes, McSquinty and Mornin’ will be happy to audition for you. Sensibly attired in pin-striped suits, they are calm, cool, and collected and would be the purrfect companions. Adopt singly or as a pair.
Need help around the house? As you can see, B.B. does the laundry and carefully folds and stacks all of the blankets. This young miss has a strong work ethic but at the end of the day would enjoy a little “me” time in the lap of someone special. Could it be you?
For a good time, call Remnants at 613-276- PARTY. This little miss, who is just eight months old, is described as “very lively”. We have it on good authority that she does not let any grass grow under her paws. If you’ve been searching for a good time gal who knows how to enjoy life, be sure to dial her number.
Meet The Love Sponge, an affectionate tiger cat who needs a sponsor. Brennan has stomatitis, a condition in which small sores form in the mouth and throat. With continued treatment he can continue to enjoy life for a long time. His sweet nature makes him a favourite at our shelter and we are all hopeful that he will obtain sponsorship.
A senior cat who came to us when his owner entered a retirement home, Tiger now has a sponsor. This handsome old gentleman now spends his days snoozing in front of a window in the seniors’ room. He welcomes visitors and would greatly appreciate it if you were to stop and say hello.
Natasha always greets comments about her damaged ear with “You should see the other guy”. A senior madame with considerable spunk, she came to our shelter with her companion, Nubbins, who is blind. Natasha is de-clawed, has no teeth, and a missing ear but is an affectionate cat who would be the ideal companion for a senior citizen. Guaranteed never to scratch or bite she is hopeful that a fellow oldster will recognize and appreciate her sweet nature. Footnote: Purring mechanism still in working order. Has lifetime warranty.
Wanted: Queen-size bed
Grumpy, Sparky, Tiny, Tortie and Moo-Moo have submitted a requisition for a Queen-size bed. Tired of receiving elbows in their tummies and paws in their ears they agree it is time for improved sleeping quarters. No one has any suggestions regarding Grumpy’s deafening snores.
Mrs. Moffatt must have been dreaming of Big Macs on the day that Katsy and her siblings arrived. One of the other youngsters was named Relish. This perky red and white miss could add spice to your home. Stop by and meet her sometime.
A mature cat who is convinced that napping is an art form, Maru dreams of a forever home. However, since he happens to be a big favourite at the shelter, he does not mind waiting patiently until his big day arrives.
Everyone has chores here at our shelter. B.B. does the laundry while Francesca does the dishes. She would be happy to lend a paw at your house. This beautiful young miss comes complete with frilly white apron.
Where Are They Now?
Aaron, one of the kittens born to Bobbie Socks, the feral cat fostered by my ghost writer, Maggie, has taken up permanent residence at her barn. Although Socks is quite plain, she has a knack for attracting handsome suitors who sire attractive offspring. Maggie theorizes that Socks’ secret is explained by the fact that she invites her gentlemen callers back to the barn to share a bowl of poached trout or tuna with her, when on a date. Since Socks is picking up the tab, they overlook the fact that she’s a plain Jane.
From the Desk of Liza
From Here to Caternity – it’s a short journey that inevitably ends with a litter of unwanted kittens. Please remember to spay and neuter. It’s the responsible thing to do and it will help you to derive greater enjoyment from your pets.
Don’t forget to visit the Bloomfield Craft Fair which takes place once a month at Bloomfield United Church. With its many vendors, it is a great place to find colourful and unusual items. Our own Mrs. M. sometimes takes some of our shelter residents to the Fair, in hopes of finding them forever homes. My paws are crossed that this year she will take Franco. And speaking of our roving reporter, he has a news flash for you. Allow me to turn you over to him.
Franco’s News Flash!
While strolling near the main building of our shelter this week, I observed that many of our residents are taking advantage of our new outdoor runs. The senior cats are especially appreciative of an opportunity to take the air. Volunteer Don Norrington deserves a big round of appaws for all of his hard work on our behalf.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am doing a fine job of reptile control here at the LHS. In just one week I have stalked and killed three snakes who were slithering around the premises. Because I am one of just two shelter cats allowed to go outdoors, I was able to perform this valuable service. Liza, of course, is also permitted to go outside under Mrs. M.’s watchful eye because she is our official meeter-greeter. Of course, if she had seen a snake, she would have meowed at the top of her lungs, screamed “Python” and run for The Laundry Room.
About the Author: Maggie Haylock is a freelance writer and former newspaper reporter who has co-authored several books with her husband, Alan Capon.